Cleveland man sentenced for forced child prostitution

3:23 PM, Nov 30, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- A Cleveland man was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for operating a sex trafficking ring that forced a child into prostitution, said U.S. Attorney Steve Dettelbach, and the Cleveland FBI's Stephen Anthony.

Ernest McClain, 28, was sentenced to 240 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster.

McClain previously pleaded guilty to three counts: sex trafficking of a minor and transportation of a minor to engage in prostitution and possession of child pornography.

Co-defendant Chardee Barfield was previously sentenced to 70 months in prison.

From Oct. 1, 2011, through Dec. 5, 2011, McClain and Barfield forced a 15-year-old girl to engage in prostitution.

Also, from on or about December 16, 2011, through December 31, 2011, McClain and Barfield took a 15-year-old girl from Ohio to Pennsylvania for prostitution.

The 15-year-old runaway told investigators that McClain and Barfield forced her to prostitute herself 10 times a day over a month-long period, with a total of 200 men, according to an affidavit filed in the case.

McClain and Barfield used web sites, including, to advertise the prostitution operation, according to the affidavit.

Another person told investigators that McClain beat girls who prostituted for him to ensure they kept working for him, according to the affidavit.

"The conduct described in this case is appalling," Dettelbach said. "This defendant took a teen runaway and, instead of getting her help, sold her body for his own financial gain."

Anthony said: "The FBI and its partners are committed to rescuing victims of this horrible crime and bringing these predators to justice."

This case is being prosecuted by Northern District of Ohio Assistant United States Attorney Michael A. Sullivan.  The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Wickliffe and Mentor police departments.


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