A Maryland girl Tuesday described to a federal jury her life on the streets and cheap motel rooms in four different states as a 14-year-old prostitute and drug abuser.
Frequently swiveling in her seat on the witness stand, she said she was already turning tricks for crack money after running away from home when she met Dwane Washington, 32, of Memphis, Tenn., in March, and he became her pimp.
Washington, arrested with the girl in Richmond, is on trial in U.S. District Court here on a charge of transporting a minor across states lines for purposes of prostitution or other illegal sexual act. If convicted, he faces 10 years to life in prison.
The girl, now 15, said she was facing charges in Maryland when she ran away from home earlier this year. At first she trolled the streets for customers and said she would get in their cars when they pulled up.
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"Were you concerned for your safety?" Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Wu asked the girl, who is in custody at a juvenile treatment center in Maryland on unrelated charges. The girl testified under an assumed name.
"I really didn't care," said the girl, adding, "I got beat up a few times." She testified that she had other pimps before she met Washington, who she knew as "Cisco," in Laurel, Md.
Asked why she did not charge Washington for sex, she said, "He looked good, so I didn't care." She testified she had sex with Washington in all of the states in which they traveled including Maryland, Alabama, Tennessee and Virginia.
She admitted she told Washington she was 19 years old. The government said they need not prove Washington knew she was underage or that he was her pimp, only that the two had traveled across state lines and had sexual relations.
She was tracked to Richmond by the Maryland State Police via a cellphone she was using and prostitution ads.
An FBI agent set up a "date" with her at a motel in the 6300 bock of Midlothian Turnpike and the two were arrested there April 25. She admitted lying to the FBI and others.
The trial is set to resume this morning.