Firefighters are known for helping people, so it may take some readers by surprise that a Maryland firefighter is facing federal charges for taking advantage of women and using them as prostitutes. The 31-year-old man ran a brothel with another 35-year-old man, and both have pled guilty to sex trafficking charges.
The two men posted online ads looking for exotic dancers. Instead, the men were looking for prostitutes to meet with clients in Baltimore and other areas throughout Maryland. The men preyed on vulnerable women - including those who were homeless and poor - and brought them to Maryland from all over the country. One prostitute they recruited was only 16 years old.
The men taught the women the various tricks of the prostitution trade. For example, the women were taught how to determine pricing for sex, set up dates and avoid getting caught by police. Both men originally faced prostitution charges in 2010, but the charges were dropped for one man and the other received probation.
This time around, the firefighter received a 15-year prison sentence. Once he is released, he will be listed on the sex offender registry. The other man will be facing sentencing shortly.
The firefighter and his lawyer were hoping to receive a lighter sentence. However, sex charges can result in serious penalties, especially when minors are involved. The law seeks to protect children from sex trafficking and other sexual offenses. Perhaps the man will be able to appeal and negotiate a more lenient punishment if his attorney deems it possible. If not, he may be able to seek parole in a few years or so if he is on his best behavior.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Firefighter sentenced to 15 years in sex-trafficking case" Ian Duncan, Dec. 13, 2013