HONESDALE – A Wayne County jury deliberated for 28 minutes Tuesday before convicting a 41-year-old man of trying to subject a 15-year-old girl to sexual servitude.
After a two-day trial Noel L. Brown of Broadheadsville was found guilty on counts of trafficking in minors, interference with the custody of children, dissemination of photos of child sex acts, corruption of minors and furnishing liquor to minors.
District Attorney Janine Edwards said, “This is the first sex trafficking in minors case prosecuted in Wayne County and I am so pleased that the jury saw the acts of this defendant for exactly what they were.”
Brown got the victim drunk and took her to a hotel in Monroe County to have her engage in sex acts with “clients,” according to testimony.
The girl's mother called 911 after realizing her daughter was missing, and police located her and Brown at the hotel after tracking her cellphone.
The defendant, who represented himself, did not call any witnesses but told the jury he was a legitimate businessman and the victim claimed to be 18.
The victim's name is being withheld due to her age and the nature of the charges.
The victim testified she and Brown connected on social media in June.
Brown picked her up at her house along the Hancock Highway in Oregon Township and brought her to his house in Monroe County.
He gave her vodka and marijuana, and she drank until she passed out. When she awoke, she testified, her bra and shirt were missing.
A photo of the passed-out girl topless was later found on social media.
The girl, while in an alcoholic fog, was made to sign a contract to engage in services with the “clients” including massages, stripping and to provide “comfort as defined by the host.”
Edwards credited the state police at the Honesdale and Swiftwater barracks for “their rapid action in finding the female victim and arresting Brown.”
The DA added, “Unlike the crime of drug delivery where the drug can only be sold once, humans can be sold over and over for profit by individuals like this defendant.
“I am glad that the issue was brought to light and that this defendant will be unable to corrupt any more young females. The jury today made a strong statement regarding the defendant's dangerous and disgusting conduct directed at a 15-year-old girl.”
Brown is in the county jail awaiting sentencing scheduled for Feb. 2.