Center Township is a community of just under 12,000 residents, located in Beaver County, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. Reports of prostitution in the community have increased since about 2016, particularly cases occurring in local hotels. Human trafficking has also been well documented in the township. For example, in September 2020 sixteen people were arrested and charged as a result of a human trafficking investigation involving Center Township hotels. Prostitution has been recognized as a local problem for decades throughout Beaver County, and community complaints have played a role in police operations responding to commercial sex in the county’s other cities, towns, and boroughs.
On several occasions law enforcement has targeted sex buyers for arrest. For example, in November 2016, Center Township police reported the interception of a single john in a reverse sting using a female police informant. The arrestee reportedly arranged to meet the woman at a local hotel and pay her for sex acts. Following his arrest, the man’s name and other identifying information were publicized in press.
In December 2018 police announced that several investigations over the prior three months had resulted in 11 people facing various drug and sex assault charges, including prostitution, promoting prostitution, conspiring to promote prostitution, rape, strangulation, indecent assault, sexual assault, child pornography and other sexual assault-related charges. One of the arrested persons was charged with patronizing prostitutes, and his identity was publicized.
- Center Township Police Department
- Beaver County District Attorney’s Office
- FBI Human Trafficking Task Force
- Pittsburgh Police Department
Reverse Stings with Shaming:
- “Beaver County School Board Member, Youth Football Coach Arrested in Prostitution Sting,” NBC/WPXI-TV 11, November 22 2016.
- “Police Charge Rochester School Board Member in Prostitution Sting,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 22 2016.
- https://www.timesonline.com/news/20181210/center-township-police-11-face-charges-on-drug-sex-crimes-4-remain-at-large (2018)
Background on Local Human Trafficking: