On October 21, 2021, Frank A. Nork was one of three men arrested in central Pennsylvania following an FBI sting operation to address child prostitution. The following week, all three were federally indicted and charged with 18 U.S.C. § 2422, Attempted Enticement of a Minor. Nork has been detained since the indictment. On January 14th, to oppose the pretrial release of Nork, Assistant U.S. Attorney George J. Rocktashel revealed more details on the allegations against him.
According to Rocktashel, Nork allegedly responded to an advertisement posted as part of the FBI sting on a website called “skip the games.” Rocktashel released a copy of Nork’s text messages from October 21, 2021, which allegedly shows that Nork responded to the advertisement via text message and stated he hoped the girl in the advertisement was over eighteen. When the undercover agent told Nork the girl was younger, Nork allegedly negotiated for a $75 rate and agreed to meet the girl at a motel in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. After making these arrangements, the undercover agent texted, “You are not a cop right? And you’re OK with her being 13 just don’t want any trouble.” In response, Nork stated he was okay with the girl’s age. Once Nork arrived at the motel, he was arrested. At that time, Nork had $115 on his person, which he allegedly admitted was for the $75 rate plus a tip.
Rocktashel claims these text messages show the prosecution’s evidence is substantial. Moreover, he argues that if released, there is a risk Nork will flee given that he faces a 10-year minimum sentence.
As we previously reported on the case in November 2021, while we commend the agents and officers working to combat commercial sexual exploitation of children in Pennsylvania, we are troubled by the decision to not charge Nork under the federal sex trafficking of children crime, 18 U.S.C. § 1591. 18 U.S.C. § 1591 imposes steeper sanctions if force, fraud, or coercion were used while enticing the minor into commercial sexual exploitation. If federal prosecutors are committed to ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children, they should charge sex trafficking of children in addition to enticement of a minor when the alleged facts bear out the elements of the crime.