Tennessee Man Arrested for Transporting a 14-Year-Old Baltimore Girl Across State Lines to Engage in Prostitution
RICHMOND, Va. – Dwane Washington, 32, of Memphis, Tenn., was arrested today accused of assisting a 14-year-old runaway from Baltimore, Md., to engage in prostitution throughout multiple states.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Michael F. A. Morehart, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, made the announcement after the arrest was made public.
“We have a zero-tolerance, one-strike policy toward juvenile sex trafficking in this District,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Anyone we find who aids, entices or forces a young girl into the vile world of prostitution will pay a very heavy price for their actions.”
“The Richmond FBI office, in conjunction with our local and state partners, have developed several initiatives to combat the very serious and emerging trend of juveniles being forced into prostitution,” said FBI SAC Morehart. “The FBI will vigorously investigate all matters relating to human trafficking and juvenile prostitution. The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are committed to safeguarding our children.”
Washington was charged by criminal complaint with interstate transportation of a minor for purposes of prostitution, which carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison, if convicted.
According to an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint, Washington allegedly met the teen girl in Laurel, Md., in March 2012 after responding to an advertisement the teen had placed on Backpage.com soliciting clients to engage in commercial sex acts. Following their encounter, Washington is alleged to have assisted the teen girl prostitute herself in various states, including Alabama, Tennessee and Virginia.
The affidavit states that the runaway was identified by law enforcement to be in Richmond on April 25, 2012, and was soliciting clients through an advertisement on Backpage.com. An undercover agent allegedly made contact with the teen and set up a meeting at a hotel in the 6300 block of Midlothian Turnpike. Washington was allegedly seen leaving the area of the hotel as the undercover agent approached for his appointment.
According to the affidavit, the teen, after being confronted by law enforcement, alleged that she had engaged in sexual intercourse in numerous occasions with Washington, that he had beaten and choked her, that she provided all of her prostitution earnings to Washington, and that he was fully aware that all of her money came from prostitution.
This case was investigated by FBI’s Richmond Field Office, with assistance from the Henrico Police Department, the Richmond Police Department, the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office and the Maryland State Police. Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Wu is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
Criminal complaints are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.