Pennsylvania man who recruited underage girl for prostitution has his jail term upheld by federal court

PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge upheld the 15-year prison term for a Harrisburg man accused of luring a 17-year-old girl into prostitution at a pair of Harrisburg-area motels in 2017, court documents show.

William M. Tyson was given the prison sentence following a plea agreement. In his appeal, he argued that a ruling by a U.S. Middle District Court judge prevented him from arguing to a jury that he didn’t know the girl involved was underage.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit Judge L Felipe Restrepo wrote in his opinion that a “mistake of age” claim is not an allowable defense in cases where a defendant has recruited someone for prostitution.

Tyson contacted the girl through Facebook in August 2017 and convinced her to become a prostitute, court documents show. He then brought her to Pennsylvania from New York and had her provide sex for cash at a Motel 6 in New Cumberland.

The girl was rescued by the FBI at a Quality Inn motel during a sting operation about a week after she arrived in Pennsylvania, according to court documents.

Her cell phone contained video of her performing oral sex on Tyson, according to documents.

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