Jefferson County Man Busted in Undercover Sex Trafficking Sting to Appear in Court on Tuesday

BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – A Jefferson County man arrested in an undercover sex trafficking sting in Brookville Borough is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.

According to court documents, a preliminary hearing for 50-year-old Edwin J. Botwright, of Brockway, is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5, in front of Magisterial District Judge Gregory M. Bazylak on the following charges:

– Trafficking in Minors, Felony 1
– Criminal Solicitation – Trafficking in Minors, Felony 1
– Unlawful Contact With Minor – Sexual Offenses, Felony 1
– Criminal Solicitation – Unlawful Contact With Minor -Sexual Offenses, Felony 1
– Criminal Attempt – Unlawful Contact With Minor -Sexual Offenses, Felony 1
– Corruption Of Minors – Defendant Age 18 or Above, Felony 3
– Criminal Use Of Communication Facility, Felony 3

Botwright is currently free on a $50,000.00 surety bond posted by a professional bondsman.

The charges stem from an investigation into human trafficking in and about Brookville Borough, Jefferson County.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint, on Saturday, January 19, Officer Turnbull, of the Brookville Borough Police Department, placed an ad onto a known website using a fake email address and photos of known images altered from open source media. The ad was posted under female escorts and expressed that it had underage females for escorts and listed numerous sexual positions as options for the girls to perform.

On Monday, January 21, Officer Turnbull received a text message from an individual saying “Hello.” Officer Turnbull replied at 6:42 a.m. reporting the service was not on during the time they contacted due to the weather, and the individual sent another message saying “Hello” at 8:50 a.m. Officer Turnbull responded to the second message with a prewritten “statement of costs.”

The complaint notes that during the same time the individual who sent the messages also attempted to call several times.

According to the complaint, the individual then sent another message asking if (the service) would “take 50 for a qv” (Quick Visit). The individual then requested to call. At 12:21 p.m., Officer Turnbull had Officer Gray speak to the individual by phone. The individual then asked for pictures of the girls, and Officer Turnbull sent four pictures. The individual responded that (he) wanted the last girl pictured, who is presumed to be 21 years of age. Officer Turnbull stated she was taken for two hours.

The individual then asked who is available, and Officer Turnbull said a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old. The individual asked for full body pictures, and Officer Turnbull sent a photo. The individual complained the photo was too dark, and Officer Turnbull send a second photo.

According to the complaint, the individual then responded with “50 right” and asked for a call from the girl. Officer Turnbull stated it was 50 for the hour, plus the extra fees he had sent and informed the individual that she was the girl he’d been talking to “because guy voices scare clients,” The individual then asked “50 for sex” again. Officer Turnbull replied it was 50 to meet and 30 for sex on top. The individual then stated he only had 50 and wanted 15 minutes. Officer Turnbull said they would take 50 then, and he would call him back after lunch.

At 1:34 p.m., Officer Gray spoke with the individual about meeting, and he asked if she was 15 years old, to which Officer Gray replied “Yep.” The individual then asked for more photos, but Officer Gray refused, and the individual said he would call back, according to the complaint.

The same individual called back at 1:40 p.m. and spoke to Officer Turnbull, the complaint states.

The complaint notes that during the conversation, Officer Turnbull heard the dinging of a car and the sounds of a vehicle driving. The individual said that he was on his way.

The individual expressed concern that about possibly being caught in a police operation, and he wanted to meet just the girl before having sex. Officer Turnbull informed him the girl was going to be the only one meeting him at the hotel, and the individual asked to meet her outside of the room, according to the complaint.

Officer Turnbull told the individual to drive to the back of the lot, and the girl would come outside and meet him. The individual asked about after meeting the girl if he would have to check in, and Officer Turnbull informed him he would not and would be able to go straight to the room. The individual agreed to the place and said he was driving a green 2015 Chevrolet pickup truck. The individual again noted he was nervous “it was a police sting,” the complaint indicates.

According to the complaint, at 2:07 p.m., Officer Turnbull observed a green Chevrolet pickup truck pull into the agreed meeting location and informed Chief Markle and Officer Stormer. The male driver was taken out at high-risk stop style, secured, and placed on the bumper of the car while being read his rights.

The individual, identified as Edwin J. Botwright, initially reported it was his friend who talked, and he had no idea what was going on. Officer Turnbull informed Botwright they had his phone, and Botwright said it was his friend’s phone, according to the complaint.

Botwright then allegedly admitted he came to the location with the intent to meet and have sex with a girl, the complaint states.

The complaint notes that Botwright had on his person the agreed upon $50.00.

He was transported to the station and interviewed a second time, “during which he again denied and minimized his actions, before admitting he had gone to the location with the intention of paying for sex with a 15-year-old girl,” according to the complaint.

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