Sewickley, 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

Sewickley is a borough of roughly 4,000 residents in western Pennsylvania located in Allegheny County, PA, just 12 miles northwest of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. The city and its surrounding communities have experienced a wide array of problems associated with commercial sex, including the homicides of prostituted persons and sex trafficking victims (including 12 of which may have been serial homicides in the 1980s), child sex trafficking, child endangerment, and sex trafficking-related production of child sexual abuse materials (CSAM, often referred to in legal codes as “child pornography”). For example, In December 2013, a federal grand jury indicted a man who allegedly had been sex trafficking a 14-year-old runaway girl. The man recruited a minor girl to engage in a commercial sex act and also used a minor girl to produce “child pornography” prosecutors said.

In effort to combat the local commercial sex market, police have been known to apprehend sex buyers in the area. For example, in August 2022, a Sewickley piercing shop owner was arrested and faced charges related to prostitution, terroristic threats, and the corruption of minors. The owner of a “body art” business offered a job to a 17-year-old girl after she got a piercing at his shop. According to court documents, the teenage girls says the man would constantly make comments about his customers’ physical appearances after they left the shop and would make inappropriate comments. While she was working, the store owner brought the victim to the back of the shop and told her that he and his wife would be opening a bra store, and asked the the victim about her bra size and asked to see a picture of her in a bikini. According to reports, the man “asked the 17-year-old girl to show her breasts several times, on multiple days, and asked her to have sex with him while offering to give her $100 each time — but she declined.” Police said that while the victim was getting a piercing done by the owner, the man went under her shirt, rubbed her back, and tried to pull down her collar. Additionally, the man made the teen sign a non-disclosure agreement to try and keep her from saying anything and even gestured at a gun he had in the shop if she were to tell anyone about what happened. The man’s identity was included in news reports.

Key Sources

Sex Buyer Arrests, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:

Prostitution Related Child Endangerment, CSAM:

Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Pennsylvania
Type City
Population 3800
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