A South Philadelphia man faces a maximum sentence of 99 years in prison after pleading no contest Thursday to 12 charges related to human trafficking.
Chaz C. Jordan, 31, of the 1800 block of South Fifth Street, is accused of running a sex trafficking ring from his residence. His victims ranged from 15 to 25 years old. By pleading no contest, he forfeited his right to a trial by jury.
Assistant District Attorney Amanda Makoid said Jordan tricked a then-15-year-old girl into becoming a sex worker after meeting her on the dating site Badoo.com in August 2014.
The girl, identified in court as N.B., worked for Jordan until his arrest in February 2015 and had as many as 10 encounters per night, splitting the take with Jordan, who would threaten her with bodily harm when she wanted to quit, Makoid said. Jordan also forced her to have unprotected sex with him, and she became pregnant in October 2014.
Jordan, dressed in a gray suit, his hair in cornrows, sat quietly as Makoid spoke.
Jordan also posted nude photos of his victims on the now-defunct website Backpage.com, an "online brothel" that was shut down by the U.S. Justice Department in April 2018.
Makoid said that Jordan targeted an unknown number of vulnerable teenage girls and young women, many of them underage drug users.
Jordan was arrested at his home in February 2015 and charged with promoting prostitution and child endangerment following an anonymous tip to the FBI. Both of his cellphones were retrieved during the investigation. He was rearrested in October 2015 on 10 other charges, including trafficking of minors, corruption of minors, and sexual assault. His bail was set at $5 million.
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 199 human trafficking cases were reported last year in Pennsylvania, 84 percent of which involved women. Of those cases, 150 — nearly 75 percent — resulted from tips, and 154 involved sex trafficking.
In January 2017, Philadelphia law enforcement agencies unveiled a human-trafficking task force funded by a $1.3 million federal grant to combat labor and sex trafficking in the region. The Anti-Trafficking Coalition consists of several law enforcement agencies and the Salvation Army.
In 2016, the Department of Homeland Security initiated 1,025 human trafficking cases, resulting in 1,943 criminal arrests and 587 convictions, and identified 435 victims of trafficking all over the nation.