- The Washington Times - Friday, May 13, 2011

A federal judge in Baltimore has sentenced a Glen Burnie man to more than 10 years in prison for transporting a 12-year-old girl across state lines to engage in prostitution.

U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Derwin Samuel Smith, 43, on Wednesday to 121 months in prison followed by 20 years of supervised release for picking up the Washington, D.C., girl and taking her to Atlantic City, N.J., to work as a prostitute. On his release from prison, Smith must also register as a sex offender where he lives, works and goes to school.

Smith pleaded guilty in March.

“The victim was rescued thanks to superb work by the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein in Maryland. “We hope that this prosecution sends a message to low-life criminals who prostitute children.”

The girl’s abduction was outlined in an April article in The Washington Times about sex trafficking, which noted that hundreds of thousands of children are the victims of sex traffickers in this country every year.

The Washington, D.C., girl was rescued on June 7, 2010, from a Laurel motel room by the task force after she called a relative when Smith was out. She told police Smith had said they would have sex when he returned.

Smith had brought her to the Laurel motel after a weekend in Atlantic City where he had her work as a prostitute and where he took all the money she earned, according to his plea agreement.

Smith, who was arrested when he returned to the motel, initially claimed he thought the girl was 22 and denied having sex with her. He later admitted that he picked her up on the street in Washington and paid her for sex in the back seat of his car. He recruited her to work for him as a prostitute and then drove her to Atlantic City, where she performed multiple sex acts with adult males, according to his plea agreement.

The girl had been reported missing May 26, 2010, and was believed to be involved in prostitution.

The case was investigated by the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, which was 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.

Mr. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Anne Arundel County Police Department, Maryland State Police and Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and prosecution. He also praised Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rachel M. Yasser and Tonya Kelly Kowitz, who prosecuted the case.

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