Laurel man charged with human trafficking, prostitution of teenage girls

Laurel man charged with human trafficking, prostitution of teenage girls

A Laurel man has been charged with the trafficking and prostitution of two girls, ages 13 and 15, after a Howard County police investigation tracked his online prostitution ads.

Arthur Coleman, 46, of Larchdale Road, faces multiple counts of human trafficking, prostitution, sexual solicitation of a minor, sex abuse of a minor and attempted second-degree sex offense.

The investigation began when an undercover female detective found several prostitution ads posted by the 13-year-old on a website that police say is often used for human trafficking and prostitution. Posing as a young girl, the detective contacted the 13-year-old to join her in making money, then arranged to meet the 13-year-old and an older man in Columbia.

While meeting at the Columbia location, police identified Coleman as the driver of a car where the 13- and 15-year-old girls were passengers. Following Coleman's arrest, police said they found condoms, cash and multiple cellphones in his car, believing he arranged appointments for the girls to have sex in exchange for money.

According to detectives, Coleman has rented hotel rooms for the prostitution of young girls and driven them to locations in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia. Police said Coleman has taken some of the cash the girls were paid.

Coleman is currently being held without bond at the county jail, while both of the teenagers are receiving victim services.

Anyone with information about human trafficking in Howard County is asked to contact 410-313-STOP or HCPDcrimetips@howardcountymd.gov.

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