St. Marys, 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

St. Marys is a city in Elk County, Pennsylvania with a population of about 13,000 residents. It is located in the northern, sparsely populated region of the state, near the Allegheny National Forest. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been documented in the city, and responses to those and related offenses have included the arrest of sex buyers and the public disclosure of their identities. For example, in May 2019, a preliminary hearing was held for a St. Marys man accused of rape and eight other charges following an incident that occurred in December 2018. Charges filed by the City of St. Marys Police Department included one felony count of prostitution, one felony count of involuntary servitude, rape, indecent assault, aggravated indecent assault, two counts of invasion of privacy and related offenses, criminal use of a communication facility, and one count of obscene and other sexual materials and performances. According to the affidavit of probable cause, a woman told police that the man had taken naked photographs of her without her consent while she was heavily intoxicated. Computers seized at the man’s residence contained several videos which allegedly showed the man sexually abusing the victim, who was motionless and appeared to be comatose, not moving for an extended period of time, according to the affidavit. The man allegedly admitted to her he took the photographs, and also had sexual intercourse with her, which the victim did not remember. After she tried to end any relationship with the man, he allegedly gave her a six-month contract, under which she was expected to participate in several sexual activities with him. If she agreed, he would delete the photographs, and if not, he reportedly threatened to show them to other people.

In February 2022, police arrested a Saint Marys man who then faced human trafficking charges after soliciting sex from a teen on Facebook. According to a criminal complaint filed by the Saint Marys Police Department, the 53-year-old man was charged with more than a dozen felonies including human trafficking, sexual assault, corruption of minors, and child pornography (i.e., child sexual abuse materials). Police said they received a tip in December about a sexual assault involving a 13-year-old girl. During an interview with the alleged victim and her friend, police said the girl’s friend told them that the offender had reached out to them on Facebook messenger inquiring about oral sex in exchange for money. The girls told police that the man told them he’d “make them rich.” The two teens told investigators that they walked to the man’s Saint Marys home located on Washington Street, but once there, they changed their minds about the situation. According to the complaint, the man convinced one of the teens to proceed and he began sexually assaulting her in another room. A search warrant was executed at the man’s home, where police said they recovered his bedding and his cellphone, which contained the Facebook messages between him and the girl. In the messages, police said the offender was offering to pay the two girls in exchange for sex and received explicit pictures of them. The man was charged with:

  • Trafficking in individuals
  • Conspiracy to commit trafficking in individuals
  • Patronizing a victim of sexual servitude
  • Conspiracy to commit patronizing a victim of sexual servitude
  • Statutory sexual assault
  • Conspiracy to commit statutory sexual assault
  • Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
  • Conspiracy to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
  • Aggravated indecent assault
  • Conspiracy to commit aggravated indecent assault
  • Prostitution and related offenses
  • Sexual abuse of children
  • Criminal use of a communication facility
  • Corruption of minors
  • Indecent assault

Key Partners

  • City of St. Marys Police Department
State Pennsylvania
Type City
Population 12670
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