For Immediate Release 6/4/2018
Baltimore — State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby joined City Councilman Kristerfer Burnett, as well as representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ), Baltimore Police Department (BPD), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) to announce the indictment of an alleged sex trafficker, Donte Barr.
According to the indictment, Barr is accused of trafficking several adult women and under-aged girls in March 2017. Specifically, authorities believe that Barr posted more than 500 advertisements on Backpage.com soliciting sex with girls as young as 15 years old.
Barr allegedly bought sex toys, condoms, and purchased hotel rooms for the women to perform sex acts with clients. The FBI responded to one of the ads Barr was believed to have posted. An undercover agent negotiated a price and federal agents set up a sting operation to arrest Barr.
“Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery that involves the use of force, fraud, and or coercion, to recruit, transport, abduct, or deceive vulnerable individuals,” said State’s Attorney Mosby. “Human trafficking is a hidden crime because victims rarely come forward to seek help for a variety of reasons.”
Investigators believe that the human trafficking ring involved as many as 25 women — most of whom were minors. If convicted of all 19 counts, Bar faces 385 years in prison.
“I’m encouraged by this indictment, as it represents the type of multi-agency collaboration that is needed to find these types of predators,” continued State’s Attorney Mosby. “This collaboration showcases the criminal justice system at its best.”
The indictment is merely an allegation. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.