Virginia Man Sentenced to Over 15 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking a Minor and Producing Child Pornography
A Virginia man was sentenced today to 186 months in prison and 10 years of supervised release for multiple crimes related to the prostitution and exploitation of a 15-year-old minor. Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger of the Eastern District of Virginia, and Assistant Director in Charge Nancy McNamara of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement after the sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia.
Abdul Karim Bangura Jr. aka “AJ”, 22, of Triangle, Virginia pleaded guilty in August 2017 to all counts of an indictment charging him with sex trafficking of a minor, conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of a minor, interstate transportation of a minor for the purposes of prostitution, and production of child pornography.
According to admissions made in connection with his plea, Bangura and his co-defendant Christian Hood conspired to recruit a 15-year-old girl to work as a prostitute and to advertise her prostitution services on Backpage.com. Bangura also transported the minor to hotels in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. for prostitution dates, and he took a portion of the money she made from commercial sex customers. Bangura also used a phone to record a video of himself having sex with the minor. In August 2017, Hood was convicted at trial of sex trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of this same minor.
This matter was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force with assistance from the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and the Prince William County Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen C. Cain of the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Kyle P. Reynolds of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section are prosecuting the case.
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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.