FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 12, 2014
For Information Contact:
Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Pandering
Woman He Lured to District
-Defendant Advertised Himself as Security for Fake Escort Business-
WASHINGTON – John Burrell Crist, 43, pled guilty on June 10, 2014 to two felony counts of pandering for inducing and compelling a woman to engage in prostitution in various parts of the District between April 20, 2014 and April 28, 2014, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
The defendant pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and will be sentenced by the Honorable John Ramsey Johnson on August 26, 2014. He will be facing up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
According to the government’s evidence, Crist posted ads on Backpage.com soliciting partners for his alleged escort business, promising to provide transportation and security for the dates in exchange for half of the profits. Enticed by one of these ads, the victim agreed to meet Crist. Crist picked the victim up from Union Station and housed her in his Alexandria home. Crist would screen the calls for “dates,” telling the victim, who was unfamiliar with the District, where she could and could not agree to go for dates, to which he would then provide the transportation. Within days, Crist turned violent against the victim, beating her, taking all of her possessions, identification, and money as she was forced to continue to prostitute. Crist came to the attention of the Metropolitan Police Department after he beat the victim in a public parking lot in the District on April 28, 2014.
In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work performed by those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. He also praised those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist D’Yvonne Key and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mervin A. Bourne, Jr., who investigated and prosecuted the matter.