CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — After a woman died from an overdose in a home on Bedford Street in Johnstown, police opened an investigation uncovering an alleged sex trafficking case.
William Warren, 51, was allegedly having several women perform sexual acts on men at his home next to the Stonycreek Township Police Department for money and drugs, according to court documents.
The investigation began in February after Stonycreek Township police were called to Warren’s home for an overdose. An officer reported finding a woman in cardiac arrest on the second floor. The woman was taken to Conemaugh Hospital where she died on Feb. 28.
A woman came forward to the police with more information on Warren on March 1. She alleged that Warren was sex trafficking women, according to the criminal complaint.
The woman told police she went to stay with Warren around November 2021. Shortly after living with Warren, she said she began using crack cocaine. As her addiction grew, she claimed to have started performing sexual acts with men in order to provide money or drugs to Warren, police noted.
Police were told these acts were often set up by Warren and occurred on a daily basis. The woman further told police about a time that she was sick from not having opiates and that she was vomiting in a trash can as men were having sex with her, according to the criminal complaint.
Warren allegedly provided the woman drugs “when he felt she earned them” and she needed to perform these acts to have a place to stay, according to the woman’s interview with police. The woman said Warren’s crack habit cost about $1,000 per day and many of the men having sex with her would pay Warren in cash or drugs.
The woman told police that Warren’s phone had sexually explicit pictures and videos of her and other women on it. She also said that he would “rent out” the other side of his residence for these sexual acts, as well.
Police monitored Warren’s residence for suspicious activity after noticing younger females enter the home and an “unusual amount of traffic which would occur while those females were present,” police noted in the criminal complaint. Police also noticed Warren coming and going from both 1614 and 1612 Bedford Street.
Days after the interview with the first woman, police executed a search warrant for various electronics at both homes. One of the electronics they took was Warren’s cell phone.
On March 24, police spoke with a second woman, another alleged victim. She said she met Warren about four or five years ago through a friend that would perform sexual acts at his house. The woman said she also performed sexual acts at Warren’s house with men and used the money to get drugs, according to charges filed. She estimated that she met with about 100 men and was paid $200 for each act. She further told police that Warren would set up dates with men that would pay for sexual acts, and Warren would get a portion of the money.
The second woman said that she knew of a third woman performing sexual acts at Warren’s home — the woman who died of a drug overdose.
As the investigation continued, authorities identified more women and men involved with sex trafficking after reviewing thousands of text messages involving Warren. The messages they found reportedly included discussions of buying/selling drugs, as well as sexual content referring to Warren getting women for men to have sex with. Police noted these messages were sent between June 2021 and February 2022.
On July 7, police spoke to another woman, marking her as the fourth known alleged victim thus far in the investigation. Similar to the other women police spoke with, she told police she had known Warren for several years and would perform scheduled sexual acts over cash and drugs. She also alleged that Warren “had a thing” for incest and would watch incest porn and “would give women drugs to fantasize about having sex with family members,” police noted.
The fourth woman added that Warren would record women during these alleged sexual acts, even without knowledge or consent. Warren also allegedly set up escort advertisements online where he displayed pictures of some women, according to the criminal complaint.
Police tracked down a man to question him regarding text conversations with Warren. The man denied having sexual relations with the women but did associate them with Warren. In some of the conversations between Warren, the man directly named two women, according to police.
Police noted some texts the man is reported to have sent to Warren include: “What up Bill. Any chicks want 2 party” and “Any chicks there? I’ll help them out. LOL”
Police said the man attempted to convince them that it was “drunk talk” and continued to deny sexual relations with any of the women associated with Warren. However, the man alleged he had a relationship with one of the women that would perform sexual acts at Warren’s home, the woman that had died of an overdose.
Then, police spoke with a criminal informant (CI) who admitted to paying Warren and women for drugs and sexual acts, according to the criminal complaint. He said he knew Warren for two years.
“Bill always made sure they got paid before anything happened,” the CI told police, according to court documents.
The CI added that he would pay the women who would then give a portion of the money to Warren. He also said Warren would get crack and heroin for the girls. The CI was able to positively identify all the women in the investigation as victims who would perform sexual acts set up by Warren, police noted.
The Cambria County District Attorney Greg Neugebauer released a statement on Thursday, Aug. 18.
“This investigation into human trafficking, and the profiting off of other’s addictions, is another collaborative effort between local, state and federal authorities. Special thanks to the FBI and DHS for their expertise and resources that have once again proved to be valuable to the citizens of our county. Their willingness to provide assistance is unwavering. This case demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement to protect the vulnerable, to aid victims in accessing resources, and to prosecute those who prey on them. Anyone who has been a victim of human trafficking is urged to come forward,” Neugebauer said.
Additional potential female victims have been identified, along with other potential males being involved, and this matter continues to be an ongoing investigation, according to a press release. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Cambria County District Attorney’s Office at 814-472-1680 or the Stonycreek Township Police Department at 814-266-3111.
As a result of the investigation, Warren was hit with a slew of felony charges, including involuntary servitude – controlled substance, trafficking in individuals – recruit/entice/solicit, trafficking in individuals – financial benefit, and criminal use of communication facility.
Warren is in Cambria County Prison after failing to post 10 percent of his $500,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing is slated for Aug. 31