Millcreek Township, PA

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Millcreek Township is a community in Erie County, Pennsylvania, and has a population of about 53,000. It is the largest suburb of Erie County, and the 14th-largest municipality in the state, larger than the cities of Altoona and Harrisburg. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of the county. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. For example, in March 2021, a New York man whom authorities identified as a person of interest in a multi-agency interstate prostitution probe was jailed in Erie after Millcreek Township police accused him of setting up a sexual encounter between an adult woman and an undercover investigator. The man was taken into custody after investigators observed that he had brought a woman to a township hotel after investigators responded to an online advertisement offering massage services. Millcreek police wrote in the affidavit of probable cause filed with the criminal complaint that officers encountered him after a woman was driven to a hotel on Interchange Road to meet up with the undercover officer who responded to the online advertisement. Once inside the hotel, the woman told the officer that she would provide “sexual services” for $220, according to information in the affidavit.

Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. To identify and apprehend local sex buyers driving the prostitution and sex trafficking markets, local police have conducted reverse stings. They have also conducted investigations that have resulted in the arrest and identity disclosure of sex buyers. For example, in December 2013, an elected constable from Crawford County who acknowledged having sex with a prostituted woman three times in the past year was sentenced in the Erie County Court of Common Pleas. The man was originally charged in Erie County with having forced the woman to have sex at a price he set under the threat of arrest. His defense attorney argued that his client should only be sentenced on the misdemeanor prostitution charges to which he pleaded guilty in July, not on the initial allegations against him, but an Erie County Judge sentenced the man for aggravated rape, citing his position of authority as an elected law enforcement official at the time. He was scheduled go on trial in the Erie County Court of Common Pleas on three counts each of rape by forcible compulsion, indecent assault by forcible compulsion, impersonating a public servant, official oppression, criminal solicitation of prostitution, and patronizing prostitutes; and one count of unlawful restraint. Instead, he entered a guilty plea to three counts of patronizing prostitutes in an agreement with the Erie County District Attorney’s Office. Each patronizing a prostitute charge carried a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. The offender was sentenced to a total of 90 days to 12 months in jail with three days credit for one count followed by a total of two years of probation, and was also ordered to pay court costs. He was arrested by the Millcreek Township Police Department for allegedly raping a woman twice in Millcreek Township, and once at a motel on Route 97 in Summit Township, in three different incidents. Police accused the man of contacting the woman through an online ad, and, upon meeting her, showing his badge, handcuffs, and gun and telling her he was an undercover detective investigating prostitution.

Key Partners

  • Millcreek Township Police Department
  • Erie County District Attorney’s Office
  • Erie County Court of Common Pleas
State Pennsylvania
Type City
Population 53037
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