CASE UPDATE: Human Traffickers Who Lured Victim into Forced Prostitution Now Face Federal Charges
In Case First Prosecuted by Attorney General Shapiro, Defendants Forced Victim into Prostitution, Held Against Her Will
HARRISBURG — In a case first prosecuted by his office, Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that two men who lured a victim from California to the East Coast with false promises of easy money – and then forced her into prostitution against her will – have been federally indicted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia.
Kashamba John, 30, and Tyler Bachtel, 34, were indicted today by U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for sex trafficking by means of force, fraud and coercion. John was also charged with transporting an individual in interstate commerce with the intent that the individual engage in prostitution.
“This is a horrendous case where a young woman was lured from California, forced into prostitution in Pennsylvania, and held against her will by these individuals,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “We prosecuted charges originally against both men. We have a great partnership with U.S. Attorney McSwain, and I have total confidence he and his team will hold these criminals accountable for human trafficking and obtain justice for this victim.”
John and Bachtel were originally prosecuted by the Office of Attorney General Shapiro. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will now adopt and prosecute the case.
If convicted of sex trafficking, each defendant faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison, up to a possible sentence of life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. On the additional count against John, he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
“The victims of sex trafficking pay a price that lasts a lifetime,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “We have to do everything possible to find the offenders and bring them to justice.”
The charges against John and Bachtel stem from a joint investigation by the Office of Attorney General, Pennsylvania State Police, Upper Merion Police and Homeland Security. The investigation was submitted to a statewide grand jury, which determined John ran a human trafficking ring that used the victim, a 21-year-old woman recruited from California, flown to the East Coast, held against her will and forced into prostitution in hotels in Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina.
Bachtel is currently a fugitive. Anyone with information on his whereabouts should contact local law enforcement or the ICE tip line at 866-DHS-2-ICE.
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