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Press Release

Coatesville, Pa., Man Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison For Sex Trafficking A Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH - A Chester County resident has been sentenced in federal court to 10 years imprisonment, to be followed by five years of supervised release, on his conviction of sex trafficking of a child, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Senior United States District Judge Mark R. Hornak imposed the sentence on Rasul Abernathy, 33, formerly of Coatesville, Pa.

According to information presented to the court, in and around December of 2012, to in and around March 2013, Abernathy knowingly recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided and obtained a minor, John Doe, to engage in a commercial sex acts.

Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Allegheny County Police Department and the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Abernathy.

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

Updated December 18, 2015

Human Trafficking