The St. Louis Media Group has reported that Kashamba John and former underwear model, Tyler Batchel, have been indicted by U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for sex trafficking by means of force, fraud, and coercion. The case was initially prosecuted by The Office of the Attorney General following a year-long investigation.
The victim was allegedly recruited at a Los Angeles night club by Batchel, who flew her to Atlanta on the false pretenses of a lucrative job opportunity. From there, the victim was allegedly forced to have sex with between 20 and 30 men per day and was provided with little to no food. She was ultimately recovered by authorities in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania after the driver of the Uber she was in flagged down a state police officer on the side of the road.
The investigation was submitted to a statewide grand jury, who found that John ran the alleged human trafficking ring that sold the victim for sex in Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania hotels. If convicted of sex trafficking, each defendant faces a minimum of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Batchel is currently a fugitive and anyone with information on his whereabouts has been urged to contact local law enforcement of the ICE tip line at 866-DHS-2-ICE.
We are encouraged that the Eastern District is pursuing federal charges against John and Batchel. These charges could not have been made possible without the efforts of all the agencies involved, including the Lower Merion Police Department, The Pennsylvania State Police, The Office of the Attorney General, and the Uber driver who realized the victim was in harm. This case is a reminder that traffickers come in all shapes and sizes, so being vigilant about potential signs of trafficking is incredibly important and can perhaps save a life. We will continue to provide updates on this case.
All views expressed herein are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law or of Villanova University.