Bucks police: Pimp charged with human-trafficking

Posted: April 11, 2014

A Philadelphia man was charged Wednesday under Pennsylvania's little-used human-trafficking law for allegedly forcing two teenage girls and a young woman into prostitution in Bensalem.

The teenagers told police that the man, Anthony Brooks, 21, had demanded they pay him $1,000 a day, officials said.

Police said that the two girls had run away from the custody of Philadelphia's Department of Human Services more than a year ago and became acquainted with Anthony Brooks, also known as "Tony Montana," who recruited them and persuaded them that he was their "boyfriend."

Police declined to release any details about how Brooks allegedly recruited the young woman, who was 21.

The Bucks County District Attorney's Office said it charged Brooks with human trafficking because police could prove he physically forced at least one of the victims into prostitution by striking her in the face, said Jennifer Schorn, chief of the major crimes division.

Pennsylvania's 2006 human trafficking statute has come under fire for being too vague, requiring evidence that a victim was forced or coerced. Brooks is believed to be only the third person charged under the statute.

A bill pending in Harrisburg would change the law's wording to require that police prove minors were involved or that victims were in debt to their trafficker, among other things.

Brooks allegedly advertised his victims on a website. In Februrary, an undercover Bensalem detective arranged to meet with two of the victims at a Red Roof Inn, court records stated. They allegedly offered sex for $200. After police detained them, they said Brooks expected them pay to him $1,000 each day, police said. The investigation then led police to third victim.

One of the girls just turned 18.

"She normally would have been transitioning from DHS's care," Schorn said. "But because she was being trafficked by him, she was 18 and had nowhere to go."

A phone call to DHS on Wednesday was not immediately returned.

bfinley@phillynews.com

610-313-8118

@Ben_Finley

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