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Teen sold for sex helps break up prostitution ring

WASHINGTON — A 14-year-old girl caught up in a prostitution ring helped police arrest her hustlers, who sold underage girls for sex out of local hotels and a D.C. apartment.

Daraya A. Marshall, 35, of the 3800 block of South Capitol Street SE, was arrested in late June on a charge of sex trafficking of children. He was ordered held in jail without bail and is set to be in court for a preliminary hearing on July 16. Jarnese E. Harris, 28, also of Southeast D.C., was arrested Thursday in Virginia on a charge of sex trafficking of children, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

According to an affidavit of probable cause for Marshall, he and Harris advertised the girls’ services on a website and used his apartment, where the girls stayed, as a brothel. The girls also worked out of hotels in D.C. and Maryland.

Police learned of the ring after getting a tip from the 14-year-old girl’s mother, who was concerned for her daughter’s welfare. The mother gave police the exact address for Marshall’s apartment. Several days later, the girl spoke to police and told them that she had been prostituting for Marshall and Harris for several weeks in May.

She provided police with details of the business arrangements including that Marshall and Harris set up “dates” for the girls and took half the money that she earned.

The 14-year-old girl told police that at any given time at least six or seven girls were staying and prostituting out of the apartment. She identified two other juvenile girls who were also advertised on the website for sexual services.

It was unclear Friday how the 14-year-old girl ended up working for the prostitution ring or whether she has returned to her mother’s care. And D.C. police did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

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