WEST OAK LANE MAN CONVICTED OF RAPE AND SEX TRAFFICKING A MINOR

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PHILADELPHIA (Feb. 17, 2016) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams today announced that 37-year-old Jason Guerra was convicted of Rape, Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse, Human Trafficking, five counts of Promoting the Prostitution of a Minor and related charges by a jury of his peers. Once sentenced by the Hon. Diana Anhalt on May 20, 2016, he will be a lifetime Megan’s Law registrant and faces a maximum possible penalty of 159 years in prison.

“This victim was just fourteen years old when these crimes were committed and I thank the jury for their verdict today,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “This child and the other young women who testified showed tremendous courage in facing their tormentor and holding him accountable for the devastation he wrought on their lives. The jury’s verdict sends a powerful message to traffickers who profit off of the suffering of their victims that they will be held accountable.”

At the age of 14, Guerra approached the victim on the street and subsequently recruited her into his human trafficking operation. Over a seven month period from 2012 to 2013, Guerra forced the child to engage in sex with men up to eight times a day at various hotels in Philadelphia and Chester while he kept all the money charged. After recruiting her, Guerra forcibly raped the victim and on several occasions, beat and threatened to kill her if she did not continue to work for him. On one occasion, Guerra beat the victim so badly that she miscarried a pregnancy. The victim was also intimidated by seeing Guerra beat other young women he was trafficking.

In 2013, the victim was eventually found by the FBI, and the investigation revealed Guerra’s trafficking operation. Three other women testified that Guerra forced them into sexual servitude at various times from 2007 through 2013. The women testified that Guerra would beat and threaten them if they did not comply with his demands to have sex with other men for money. The women suffered broken ribs and fingers in these beatings. Guerra further controlled some of the young women who suffered from addiction by giving and then withholding heroin and crack cocaine. These women identified four other young women whom they had seen Guerra trafficking, three of whom are now dead from drug overdoses.

This case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Rochelle Keyhan of the Office’s Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit.

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