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Prostitution Charges Upheld for Stephen, Defrancesco

The two women were arrested during a prostitution sting operation at an apartment on West Main Street in Lansdale in June. Police also found two dime bags of suspected heroin in the lobby of Lansdale district court

Prostitution charges against two women who were arrested in a June prostitution sting on West Main Street were held over for Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Thursday morning.

Kristen Rachel Stephen, 29, of the 300 block of W. Main Street, Lansdale, and Janet Lee DeFrancesco, 34, of the 200 block of Danny Lane, Harleysville, were arrested in a prostitution sting conducted by Lansdale Police.

Both women face the following misdemeanors at the county level:

  • Promotion of prostitution as an inmate of a house of prostitution or otherwise engages in sexual activity as a business
  • Disorderly conduct of a physical or hazardous manner
  • Three counts of possession of a controlled substance
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Possession of marijuana

Both women were never arraigned at their June 12 arrest. Instead, District Judge Harold Borek summoned both by mail.

Both women waived their preliminary hearings and bail was set at $5,000 unsecured for each of them.

Lansdale Police Officer Chad Bruckner found two dime bags of suspected heroin on the floor in the lobby of District Court 38-1-28 in Lansdale. 

Bruckner interrogated Stephen and Defrancesco, who denied possessing the suspected drug.

Bruckner said he would be reviewing surveillance video to determine who possessed the baggies and drug charges will be filed against the perpetrator.

Here's what went down on June 12:

In late May 2012, Lansdale Police received information regarding a suspected prostitution ring operating out of an apartment at 327 W. Main Street, Lansdale.

Police searched the Internet for escort advertisements in Lansdale and found seven advertisements using the name "Kelly Cruz," police said.

The ads featurd several pictures of a woman in lingerie and provided prospective customers with phone numbers to contact them, police said.

The investigating officer recognized the pictures in the ads to be Stephen, police said.

Stephen has had arrests and contacts with her before, police said.

A more recent advertisement listed both "Kelly" and "Lisa" as being available with a monetary donation suggested for an allotted time frame, police said.

"Lisa" was later identified as DeFrancesco, police said.

On June 12, surveillance was conducted on the apartment and officers allegedly observed Stephen direct an unknown male into the building, police said.

At 1:59 p.m. June 12, Lansdale Police and an undercover Pennsylvania State trooper contacted "Kelly" by phone, police said. An agreement was made to meet both women and an address on West Main Street was provided to the undercover trooper, police said.

Upon arrival at the address, the undercover trooper was provided with a second address a few doors away that Stephen soon emerged from, police said.

The trooper was led into an apartment and a call made by Stephen led to the arrival of DeFrancesco, police said.

Police said there was a discussion over money and services, and then money was exchanged. Both suspects were taken into custody.

Heroin, cocaine and marijuana; used hypodermic needles; copper wadding; pipes; burnt spoons and numerous wax baggies were found inside the apartment, police said. Ledgers and customer profile logs were also found, police said.

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