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United Way of Lancaster County


Report: county Human Trafficking Task Force expanded impact in 2023

State Sen. Ryan Aument welcomes participants to an Anti-Human Trafficking education event at Warwick Middle School on Monday, Nov. 21, 2023. (Source: Office of Sen. Aument)

Lancaster County’s Human Trafficking Task Force stepped up its activities in its second year of existence, both on enforcement and community education, according to a review from the district attorney’s office.

The office released its second annual report on the task force on Thursday, which is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. The task force was launched on that day in 2022.

In 2023, stings by the task force resulted in 49 arrests, up from 30 in 2022, the report said. The arrests in 2023 consist of 36 alleged customers; five alleged prostitutes and eight individuals charged in child predator stings. In six additional cases, individuals were referred to social services in lieu of prosecution.

Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams

“Our Task Force has been focusing on reducing the demand for these services since its inception,” Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams said.

The task force collaborates with the nonprofit Zoe International to assist victims and provide community outreach. In 2023, the latter included presentations at an anti-human trafficking education event hosted in November by state Sen. Ryan Aument and to a June meeting of the Greater Lancaster Hotel Motel Association.

Task Force Coordinator and Zoe International Regional Director Brad Ortenzi is speaking about the task force’s work Thursday afternoon at a Senate Republican Policy Committee hearing in Pittsburgh on human trafficking.

His testimony emphasizes the efforts being made to reach vulnerable populations through outreach at County Prison, the Youth Intervention Center, the Child Advocacy Center and area schools, the district attorney’s office said.

The Human Trafficking Task Force includes county agencies, local police departments and nonprofits.

To learn more, contact Stephanie Wisler, a victim advocate at the District Attorney’s Office, at (717) 299-8100.