Laurel man faces 50-year prison sentence for human trafficking

Laurel man faces 50-year prison sentence for human trafficking

A Laurel man, who is a registered sex offender, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the human trafficking and prostitution of two teenage girls in Howard County.

Arthur Billy Coleman, 47, was sentenced in Howard County Circuit Court on May 5, following his guilty plea to charges of human trafficking, attempted human trafficking and prostitution during his January trial.

Circuit Court Judge Mary Kramer sentenced Coleman to two 20-year consecutive terms for two counts of human trafficking of a minor, a concurrent 20 years for operating a prostitution business and a 10-year consecutive term for prostitution under the age of 16.

According to the Howard County State's Attorney's Office, the two girls, ages 13 and 16, were foster children who ran away from the Baltimore City Department of Social Services. Howard County police began their investigation into Coleman's acts last July when an undercover female detective saw prostitution ads online that were posted by the 13-year-old girl.

Posing as a young girl, the undercover detective arranged a meeting with Coleman at the county library system's East Columbia Branch on Cradlerock Way, where he was arrested and the two girls were found. Wayne Kirwan, spokesman for the state's attorney's office, said neither girl testified against Coleman.

According to Kirwan, during Coleman's sentencing Assistant State's Attorney Colleen McGuinn said Coleman was wearing an electronic ankle bracelet when he was arrested, which Prince George's County authorities used to monitor his location after he was convicted of a third-degree sex offense in 1999.

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