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Press Release

Scranton Man Pleads Guilty To Sex Trafficking Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a 28-year-old Scranton resident pleaded guilty today before Senior United States District Court Judge James M. Munley in Scranton, to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Sean Cantelmo admitted to conspiring with others to have a 17-year-old female engage in prostitution and illegal sexual activity during February through May 2014. Cantelmo admitted that he and others used a cell phone to post advertisements for "escort services" involving the minor female on a website, rented motel rooms in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties to facilitate the prostitution activities, and purchased condoms for the minor to use when engaging in commercial sex acts.

Cantelmo was indicted by a federal grand jury in August 2014, as a result of an investigation by agents of the Homeland Security Investigations and the Pennsylvania State Police.

Judge Munley ordered a pre-sentence investigation to be completed, and scheduled Cantelmo’s sentencing for May 5, 2015. Cantelmo faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a potential maximum sentence of life in prison.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the case.

Updated December 18, 2015

Human Trafficking