HONESDALE -- For Noel Brown, it was a short walk to be fingerprinted and processed at the Wayne County Courthouse, after being sentenced to 15 to 32 years in prison.
A jury convicted Brown of several charges including human trafficking.
Under Pennsylvania's new law introduced in 2014, Noel Brown is now considered a sexually violent predator. Brown will now be registered as a Tier 3 sex offender and also must go to monthly counseling while in prison.
“100 percent appropriate to send someone away for a very long time in a state facility when they interfere with the custody of a child,” said Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards.
According to court documents, last June, Noel Brown lured a 15-year-old girl from her home in Oregon Township, near Honesdale.
Brown claimed to be a lost Uber driver. He took her to his home in Monroe County and then to the Days Inn in Tannersville.
Court documents say Brown gave the victim alcohol, then took a topless photo of the victim and posted it to the internet for his clients. After state police pinged her phone, they were able to track her before it was too late.
“It’s an incredibly serious crime, one that any parent of any teenager waking up to or finding out would be a nightmare,” said Edwards.
The crime of sex trafficking happens across the country. This is the first one dealing with minors in Wayne County. District Attorney Jeanine Edwards hopes that a jury conviction sends a strong message.
“Even though it was our first, from the minute it was charged to the minute he was prosecuted until the minute he was sentenced, we took it seriously. We took it as very dangerous crime and one that we were not going to stand for in our county,” said Edwards.
The Children's Advocacy Center of Monroe County has seen hundreds of human trafficking cases. Curtis Rogers is the executive director and is hoping the new law is helping their fight to keep children safe.
“It's extremely important for us as children advocacy centers and a group that works with law enforcement and children services to have additional tools that will help identify and punish those involved in sex trafficking,” said Rogers.
The Wayne County district attorney says their work isn't over yet and hopes these stronger sentences steer criminals like this off of the streets.