Conspirator Pleads Guilty In Scheme Involving Sex Trafficking Of A Minor
Baltimore, Maryland – Charles Hufton, age 26, formerly of Cockeysville, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.
According to his plea agreement, in January of 2013, Hufton, a doorman at a nightclub in Baltimore, and co-defendant Rodney Hubert, a registered sex offender in Maryland, recruited girls, some of whom were underage, to engage in prostitution.
Hubert sought a 19-year-old associate to work as a prostitute beginning in December 2012. Hufton and Hubert offered her a commission to recruit a 16-year-old Baltimore resident to perform prostitution. Hubert invited the 16 year old to reside with him. The 16 year old girl had sex with customers on at least five occasions in a Parkville house provided by Hubert, and on at least seven occasions at other locations.
Hubert offered to pay the 16 year old girl $400 dollars to take provocative photos of her wearing lingerie. She posed for the photos, although Hubert never paid her the promised fee. Hufton and Hubert did, however, use these photos to post online prostitution ads. Hufton used his smartphone and email address to create and post online ads for the females’ commercial sex.
Hufton and Hubert advertised online that the 16 year old would prostitute at both the Parkville house, as well as other locations of prospective clients. Hufton drove the prostitutes, including the 16 year old, to “out-call” locations and collected a portion of their earnings.
As part of his plea agreement, Hufton must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
Hufton faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III scheduled sentencing for October 24, 2014, at 2:00 p.m.
Rodney Hubert, a/k/a “Noah,” age 39, of Parkville, Maryland previously pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a minor. Hubert and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Hubert will be sentenced to between 168 and 262 months in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release. Judge Russell scheduled Hubert’s sentencing on September 11, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.
The case was investigated by the FBI-led Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force (MCETF), created in 2010 to combat child prostitution, with members from10 state and federal law enforcement agencies. The Task Force coordinates with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Maryland State Police Child Recovery Unit to identify missing children being advertised online for prostitution.
MCETF partners with the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, formed in 2007 to discover and rescue victims of human trafficking while identifying and prosecuting offenders. Members include federal, state and local law enforcement, as well as victim service providers and local community members. For more information about the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, please visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/md/priorities_human.html.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI, Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation, and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark W. Crooks, who is prosecuting the case.