Scranton, Pa

UPDATE: Westmoreland Man Sentenced to 20 to 40 years for Trafficking a Minor

Posted: January 5, 2023

On Monday, December 19, 2022 Davon Allen Fuqua was sentenced to twenty to forty years in prison for trafficking in minors, among other charges.

As we previously reported, Fuqua and Shannon Lynn Shannon were charged with four felony offenses in August 2019. The pair were charged with trafficking in minors, statutory sexual assault, promoting prostitution of a minor, and conspiracy in Westmoreland County. Fuqua initially took the case to trial, but stopped midway through testimony to plead guilty in November 2022.

The two were charged after the 14-year-old victim had a seizure in a McDonald’s due to drug overdose. Fuqua and Shannon abandoned the child in the restaurant after paramedics arrived. The victim told law enforcement that the two had raped her, arranged for her to be trafficked to sex buyers, and told her to lie about her age. The complaint also claimed that Fuqua sold the victim drugs to coerce and control her.

Prior reports on this case have included lengthy discussion on the victim-offender overlap possible in Shannon’s case. It is imperative that prosecutors, law enforcement, judges, and the legislature change the narrative as it relates to these individuals. Colloquially calledbottom girls,” the criminal conduct of these women is inseparable from their victimization and must be treated as such.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro commented on this sentencing, stating, “Today’s sentencing gets a sexual predator off the street and is a step toward justice for the victim. My office will continue to prosecute offenders who exploit children and create a market for human trafficking in Pennsylvania.” The prosecution and sentencing of Fuqua are important steps, but to be effective, prosecutors must expand their horizons to act on every aspect of the sex trade. The market for sex is only created because there is a demand for commercial sex. The CSE Institute urges the Attorney General’s Office to consider the population creating the demand if they truly expect to address sex trafficking in Pennsylvania.

The CSE Institute applauds the Attorney General’s Office for pursuing trafficking charges against Fuqua, and for sentencing a man who sexually exploited and trafficked a child. Deputy Attorney General Summer Carroll demonstrated the power law enforcement has to address commercial sexual exploitation in our Commonwealth. We commend the survivor for coming forward and testifying at trial—her voice, and the voices of all survivors, are critical to changing the narrative around sex trafficking and achieving justice.

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. 

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