A nationwide sex trafficking crackdown, arresting dozens of people, was announced by the FBI Wednesday. In addition to the FBI Child Trafficking sting, WUSA 9 learned about two recent cases in our area.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, this past Monday, 37-year-old Daraya Marshall pleaded guilty to four counts of Sex Trafficking of Children, one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor and one count of First Degree Child Sexual Abuse.
Court documents said Mashall ran a prostitution business out of his South Capital St. SE apartment from around June 2014 to June 2015.
There are four minors, and other women involved said, prosecutors.
The girl's prostituted-out range in age from 14 – 17-years-old. Officials also charged 29-year-old Jarnese Harris.
Court documents said some of the victims are from the DC-area. Investigators also said Marshall used the girls to make ‘outcalls’ to other parts of D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. At times, prosecutors said Marshall had six or more women and girls prostituting for him.
Provocative photos of the victims were posted to Backpage.com for solicitation.
For those who think it only happens in D.C., think again. In Arlington, Virginia, a more recent case of sex trafficking was discovered.
U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern District of Virginia released a press release Thursday saying on the same day, 34-year-old Andrew Lee Thompson also pleaded guilty to Child Sex Trafficking.
Prosecutors said a security guard saved a 16-year-old from trafficking at a hotel on the 2400 block of S. Glebe Rd. when that person called police after noticing multiple men go in-and-out of two hotel rooms. WUSA 9 identified this location as the Best Western Hotel.
Police responded and later discovered the 16-year-old, from Arizona, had reportedly been prostituted-out in Virginia and at least three other states. Backpage.com was also used to solicit the victim, according to court documents.
There are also two other suspects in this case.
In Marshall's case, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said each of the Sex Trafficking of Children charges carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10-year-os in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The charge of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15-years in prison and a maximum of 30-years. The charge of 1st Degree Sex Abuse carries a statutory maximum of 30-years in prison.