Greenbelt, Maryland - Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Melvin Douglas, a/k/a Melvin Longwood, age 32, of Washington, D.C., today to 10 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for transporting a minor across state lines to engage in prostitution. Judge Chasanow ordered that upon his release from prison, Douglas 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).
The sentence 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; Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police, as part of the Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force; and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks.
According to Douglas’ plea agreement, from September 5, 2011 to February 9, 2012, Douglas transported a minor female from Washington, D.C. to hotels in Maryland to engage in prostitution. The Maryland State Police Child Recovery Unit received a missing child alert from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for a 15 year old female, who had been reported missing from Prince William County, Virginia. The Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force located an ad on a website frequently used to advertise prostitution and escort services that featured the missing girl.
A “date” was made with the victim, using the telephone number from the advertisement. A law enforcement officer was instructed to meet the girl at a motel in College Park, Maryland on February 9, 2012. An agent saw Douglas and another individual exit the motel room a few minutes before the arranged time for the date, and approach an SUV. Douglas was stopped and searched. A room key and $3,000 were seized. The missing girl was found in the motel room and interviewed. She confirmed that Douglas kept all the money she earned by prostitution.
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 the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.
The case was part of the Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force efforts to combat child prostitution. The Task Force, created in 2010 is comprised of 15 members representing 10 agencies, both state and federal. Since October 2011, the TF has recovered 32 juveniles and investigated 25 cases that have resulted in state and federal prosecutions. 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.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Maryland State Police, Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney LisaMarie Freitas and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristi N. O’Malley, who prosecuted the case.