District Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison on Charges Stemming from Trafficking Four Children for Commercial Sex
Ran Prostitution Business Out of His Apartment in Southeast Washington
WASHINGTON – Daraya Marshall, 37, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 25 years in prison on four federal charges of sex trafficking of children, one federal count of sexual exploitation of a minor, and one District of Columbia offense of first-degree child sexual abuse.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Marshall pled guilty on Oct. 16, 2017, the day that his trial was scheduled to begin in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He had been charged by the grand jury in a 15-count indictment; the remaining counts were dismissed at sentencing pursuant to the plea agreement. Marshall was sentenced by the Honorable Tanya S. Chutkan. Following his prison term, Marshall will be placed on 15 years of supervised release. By law, he will also be required to register as a sex offender for a minimum period of 25 years. Judge Chutkan also ordered Marshall to pay $21,800 in restitution and an equal amount in a forfeiture money judgment.
According to the government’s evidence, Marshall and his co-defendant, Jarnese Harris, 31, ran a sex trafficking operation out of their apartment in Southeast Washington. At times, Marshall had six or more women and girls prostituting for him, including Ms. Harris. In 2014 and 2015, Marshall separately persuaded four girls - who were ages 14, 15, 15-16, and 17 years old - to prostitute for him by engaging in commercial sexual acts with strangers who responded to ads placed on Backpage.com. These commercial sexual transactions would occur either in Marshall’s apartment, or Marshall or Harris would drive the victims to other locations in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Marshall and Harris took pictures of the girls in sexually provocative poses, and paid for and placed advertisements on Backpage.com.
The victims were vulnerable because of their youth and difficult life circumstances, and Marshall lured them with the promise of independence and a chance to make money. He provided the victims with food and marijuana, let them stay in his apartment, and gave them rides to and from home or school so that they could work for him at night and on weekends. Additionally, Marshall took photos and videos of one of the victims, which depicted child pornography, when the victim was 15 and 16 years old. He also sexually abused one of the victims by engaging in intercourse with her when she was just 14 years old.
Marshall and Harris came to the attention of law enforcement in May 2015, after the mother of the 14-year-old victim reported to police that she learned her daughter, who had run away and been reported missing, was being prostituted by a man living on South Capitol Street. After an initial investigation, Marshall was arrested and charged in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. During the investigation, additional victims and federal charges were identified and Marshall was charged in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Marshall has been in custody since his arrest on June 29, 2015.
“Daraya Marshall cold-heartedly exploited four teenage girls, including one who was in the eighth grade, and turned them into prostitutes,” said U.S. Attorney Liu. “Time after time, he took advantage of vulnerable victims for his own financial gain. Today’s sentence holds him accountable for his reprehensible actions. This case highlights our commitment to preventing and prosecuting those who engage in human trafficking. “
“Child sex trafficking is a horrible crime that creates a cycle of victimization and must be stopped,” said Assistant Director in Charge Vale. “The FBI is committed to bringing child predators to justice and rescuing children from this heinous exploitation. We will continue to work with our local, state, and federal partners to aggressively prevent and investigate crimes against children.”
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu, Assistant Director in Charge Vale, and Chief Newsham expressed appreciation for the work performed by detectives of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Youth Division, and Special Agents and Analysts of the FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force. They also recognized the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Arvind K. Lal, Chief of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section; Assistant U.S. Attorney Chrisellen Kolb; former Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Cook; former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Marina Stevenson; Victim/Witness Advocates Lezlie Richardson and Veronica Vaughan; Victim/Witness Security Specialists Lesley Slade, Tanya Via, and Wanda Queen; Paralegal Specialists Tiffany Jones and Elena Buruncenco; Litigation Technology Specialist Claudia Gutierrez, and Criminal Investigators John Marsh and Mark Crawford.
Finally, they expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cassidy Kesler Pinegar, Kenya K. Davis, and Jason Park, who prosecuted the case.