A former Baltimore firefighter pleaded guilty Friday to a federal sex trafficking charge for his part in running a brothel that pimped out a 16-year-old girl and other women.
Jamar Simmons and Franklin Coit ran brothels at two locations in Baltimore between 2009 and 2012 — the first in Reservoir Hill and later at a warehouse in Carrollton Ridge — and advertised for women to come to work for them as escorts or exotic dancers. Coit pleaded guilty to the same charge in August.
"Many of the women recruited by Simmons and Coit were in financial distress, had no place to live, or were otherwise unusually vulnerable," Simmons' plea agreement said.
William R. Buie III, Simmons' attorney, said his client had "accepted full responsibility for his actions, which are obviously wrong."
Buie said his client hopes the court might show some leniency because of his years of service as a firefighter, and said that it was Simmons' use of drugs that led to his involvement in prostitution.
Coit's attorney could not be reached for comment.
Simmons and Coit face a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life when they are sentenced later this year.
The two men's online ads attracted the attention of a 16-year-old and her friend who was 19. Coit took explicit photos of the 16-year-old, and Simmons advertised her services online, according to his plea agreement.
Coit and Simmons first attracted the attention of police in 2010, when they were arrested on prostitution charges in Baltimore County. Simmons received probation before judgment in that case, and the charges against Coit were dropped.
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