An Aston Township man has become the first person charged in Delaware County with violating a new state law by having sex with a teenager he knew was a victim of human trafficking, the district attorney's office announced Monday.
Matthew Jeffrey Sipps, of the 100 block of Sweigart Lane, was charged with patronizing a victim of sexual servitude, concealment of the whereabouts of a child, and corruption of minors, according to the district attorney's office. He was remanded to the Delaware County jail after failing to post $50,000 bail.
According to the district attorney's office, a 16-year-old female runaway from North Providence, R.I., had placed an ad on the online listings website backpage.com seeking employment as an escort.
She made contact with a man later identified as Raymond Justis, who drove her from Rhode Island to New Jersey. After engaging the female victim in sex, he told her she would be working for him. He took photos of the teen, while she was scantily dressed, and posted them on Backpage under the category "Philly escorts."
In a two-week period, the teen was paid $2,500 by four men for sex. She split the money with Justis.
In March 2015, Sipps used the online listings website backpage.com to connect with the teen who he later met at a Maple Shade, Burlington County, motel.
He later took her to his Aston home, where he lived with his mother and two adult brothers. He ordered the 16-year-old to stay in Sipps's room and not to socialize with members of his family. Eventually, after she had asked to leave, he gave her a phone to contact her mother, who called police, according to the district attorney's office.
Justis pleaded guilty in March to sex-trafficking charges and was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison, according to the district attorney's office.