Registered Sex Offender Pleads Guilty to Trafficking a Minor
Coerced a 15-Year-Old Runaway to Engage in Prostitution
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 10, 2014|
BALTIMORE—Thomas Sean Tinsley, age 29, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to sex trafficking of a minor. Tinsley is a registered sex offender, having previously been convicted of having sex with a minor female.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Commissioner Anthony W. Batts of the Baltimore Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein.
According to Tinsley’s plea agreement, in May 2013, Tinsley met a 15-year-old runaway near the Galleria Mall in downtown Baltimore and invited her to live with him at his residence—a motel on Caton Avenue in Baltimore. Soon thereafter, Tinsley began having sex with the victim.
Tinsley encouraged the victim to engage in prostitution to pay for the motel room and to provide him with additional money. The victim routinely met with prostitution clients and communicated with Tinsley regarding her client interactions, including the location of the commercial sex and the identity of her patrons. Tinsley monitored the victim’s commercial sex activities and gave her instructions regarding her client interactions, including telling her to collect cash before the commercial sex. Sometimes, Tinsley negotiated directly with prospective clients for commercial sex on behalf of the victim.
When they searched the motel room, federal agents found Tinsley’s sex offender registry paperwork from a prior conviction, which listed the motel address as his “place of residence.”
Tinsley and the government have agreed that if the court accepts the plea agreement, Tinsley will be sentenced to between 121 and 210 months in prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander has scheduled sentencing for July 2, 2014, at 11:00 a.m.
The case was investigated by the FBI-led Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force (MCETF), created in 2010 to combat child prostitution, with members from10 state and federal law enforcement agencies. The task force coordinates with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Maryland State Police Child Recovery Unit to identify missing children being advertised online for prostitution.
MCETF partners with the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, formed in 2007 to discover and rescue victims of human trafficking while identifying and prosecuting offenders. Members include federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as victim service providers and local community members. For more information about the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, please visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/md/priorities_human.html.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Baltimore Police Department, and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark W. Crooks, who is prosecuting the case.