Chester County Couple Charged with Sex Trafficking of Two Children
PITTSBURGH - Two Chester County residents have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking and sex trafficking of a child, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
The three-count superseding indictment, returned on April 29, named Rasul Abernathy, 32, and Poshauntamarin Walker, 35, formerly of Coatesville, Pa. as the defendants.
According to the superseding indictment, beginning in at least July of 2012, and continuing through on or about March 1, 2013, Abernathy and Walker did knowingly conspire to recruit for sex trafficking and did in fact traffic a male and female minor, both under the age of 18 years, in Pittsburgh for commercial sex acts.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of life in prison, a fine of $750,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.
Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Allegheny County Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.