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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

Friday, July 1, 2016

Violent Sex Trafficker Sentenced to 22 Years in Prison

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Jerome Robert Barnhart, 36, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 264 months in prison for kidnapping, followed by five years of supervised release.

Barnhart pleaded guilty on Dec. 7, 2015. According to court documents, Barnhart met the victim in Maryland and, after striking up a romance with her and supplying her with marijuana, Barnhart persuaded the victim to be prostituted and to turn over her earnings to him. Barnhart prostituted the victim in Washington, D.C., New York, Maryland, and Virginia. Barnhart imposed a monetary quota on the victim, and when the victim was unable to meet the quota, he became enraged. He periodically beat the victim and threatened her with bodily harm. On one such occasion, Barnhart used the lid of a can to slice the victim’s finger.

In August 2015, after the victim again failed to meet her quota, Barnhart beat the victim at a hotel in Maryland, and then drove the victim to Virginia. During the ride, Barnhart continued to beat the victim with a tire iron. Barnhart threatened the victim and told her that he was going to dump her body where nobody would find it. While Barnhart was beating the victim with the tire iron, his car swerved on the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The U.S. Park Police initiated a traffic stop and found Barnhart and the bruised victim in the car. Because the victim was bruised and crying, the police separated her from Barnhart and she began to recount her ordeal. A grand jury later indicted Barnhart for kidnapping, sex trafficking by force, fraud, coercion, and assault with a dangerous weapon, among other charges.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Robert D. MacLean, Chief of U.S. Park Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Molly Scullin and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Frank prosecuted the case.

The Fairfax County Police Department, the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force, and the City of Frederick (Maryland) Police assisted in the investigation.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:15-CR-270.

Human Trafficking
Updated July 5, 2016