- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A former state prison guard faces a 10-year federal prison sentence after pleading guilty Wednesday to forcing a 17-year-old boy into prostitution with the help of her boyfriend, whom she met when he was an inmate at the western Pennsylvania prison where she worked.

Poshauntamarin Walker, 35, who last lived in Coatesville, near Philadelphia, pleaded guilty before a federal judge in Pittsburgh.

Like her boyfriend, Rasul Abernathy, 33, who pleaded guilty last month, Walker faces an agreed-upon 10-year prison term when she is sentenced Feb. 11. Abernathy will be sentenced Jan. 8.

Walker acknowledged forcing a 17-year-old boy the couple met online to sell himself for sex between December 2012 and March 2013 while she and Abernathy lived in North Versailles, a Pittsburgh suburb.

Although Walker didn’t plead guilty to charges involving a 16-year-old girl the couple was also charged with prostituting, she acknowledged responsibility for that behavior as part of her plea.

Details of the sex-trafficking charges are spelled out in an FBI search warrant unsealed in February, a few days after the couple was arrested near Philadelphia, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar provided other details to U.S. District Judge Mark Hornak at the plea hearing.

Abernathy and Walker placed personal ads for sex services, some of which pictured one or the other of the teens, and which had phone numbers investigators later linked to the couples. They paid cash for hotel rooms or sometimes used Walker’s debit card, and she would drive the boy to his “dates” with Abernathy as a passenger in the car, Smolar said.

Abernathy met Walker when he was incarcerated from February 2007 to September 2008 at the state prison in Greensburg, about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh. After his release, the couple were living together when Abernathy met the 16-year-old after she ran away from a court-ordered placement at Allegheny County’s Shuman Juvenile Detention Center.

Abernathy told the girl she could live with Walker, but he didn’t tell her that he lived there, too, and they’d all have to share one bed, authorities said. About a month later, in July 2012, the couple began prostituting the girl by posting online ads, until about March 2013.

According to an FBI search warrant, Walker showed the girl how to dress and apply makeup, and Abernathy told her what to charge for sexual services. The couple gave her marijuana and pain pills to relax her before trysts - and alcohol afterward - and physically abused her if she refused to provide sexual services or tried to run away, authorities said.

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