WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- If you don't believe human trafficking is happening right around us, this story proves it could be as close as down the hall from the last party, meeting, prom or wedding you attended.
A Maryland man was sentenced to more than a decade behind bars Wednesday, but it's where he pimped out his victims that might surprise you.
The Hilton in Rockville is known as a place for business meetings, weddings, and unfortunately, now, as the spot where the so-called "Pimp on the Pike" trafficked two women.
Ramon Korionoff of the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office said today after sentencing, "Nahshon Kornegay is a 21st century pimp, a human trafficker of the worst order. He forced women to work for him while he lived the high life."
According to court documents, that high life included selling women as well as candy-colored ecstasy, as part of a business plan that included a laptop he used to troll for clients on Backpage.com.
Some of the ads for the two women he's convicted of pimping out are too racy to re-print. In a statement, Kornegay says he just rented the room for them as a favor. His attorney, Timothy Clarke, admits the man, also known as Shawn, was involved with prostitution, but not human trafficking: "Frankly, I'm saying the case was over-presented. It should not have been tried as that."
Kornegay faces more than a decade behind bars. Part of the evidence that helped convict him included text messages to his alleged prostitutes confirming he's posted ads about them on Backpage.
Andrea Powell, an activist who fights against human trafficking, knows a lot about this issue. Powell told us, "Human trafficking, particularly sex trafficking is happening everywhere, in hotels, apartments, street corners, schools, even all over the United States and the nation's capital is not immune to that. In fact, we're helping over a hundred girls a year at my organization, FairGirls, and there are many, many more in need."
How can you help? Powell asks that if you see something out of the ordinary, say something.
FairGirls needs your support. One of the many things is helping survivors sell unique jewelry that they create. The program helps support 200 teen women in Bosnia, Serbia, Russia, Uganda and here in Washington D.C. You can find their information here at www.fairgirls.org