Philadelphia Man Found Guilty of Sex Trafficking Children
PHILADELPHIA – First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Artavius Horne, a/k/a “Lo”, 35, of Philadelphia, PA was convicted at trial of three counts of sex trafficking minors by force, fraud or coercion.
During the week-long trial, the government presented evidence which showed that the defendant organized, operated and led a sex trafficking venture based in and around Northeast Philadelphia. As part of the scheme, the defendant recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, obtained, or maintained three minor children, one of whom was 13 years old, to engage in commercial sexual encounters. Horne created internet advertisements for each of the victims on a website known as Backpage.com, and he transported them across state lines to New Jersey, New York, Washington D.C., and Maryland for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts. He also kept the victims in apartments throughout Philadelphia, also known as “trap houses,” where they were made to engage in commercial sex for the benefit of the defendant.
“The defendant’s days of trafficking girls by force and manipulation for his own financial benefit are over,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Williams. “Sex trafficking is an appallingly pervasive problem, exacerbated by the easy availability of online advertising, and it demands an aggressive response. We stand ready with our federal partners to identify and dismantle organizations that perpetuate this abuse.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and it is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Melanie Babb Wilmoth.