Edwin Barcus Jr. of Georgia has admitted guilt in running a commercial sex business that used at least seven juvenile girls for prostitution purposes in several southern states according to the FBI on Monday.
Barcus, 27, is accused of luring young girls into prostitution who were either runaways or lived in broken homes.
Court records reflect the Georgia man would appear to assist them with needed shoes and clothing first, or to make them believe he, or one of his venture partners, was interested in them romantically.
Later, however, he would utilize Backpage.com, as well as other erotic Internet sites, in order to advertise the girls' services and to recruit additional girls according to court records.
Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office says, "Recruiting, exploiting and transporting juveniles for the purpose of underage prostitution is a cruel form of modern-day slavery."
Barcus' "modern-day slavery" total amounted to 23 known victims, with four of the victims aged 16 at the time of the crimes, and three aged 17.
The prostitution activity occurred in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North and South Carolina, as well as Virginia. And one 17-year-old victim was transported over state lines from Georgia to Virginia against her will.
That victim was told that "under the rules of the game," she had to go to Virginia, and that girls working Herndon clients earned $500 or more per day. But the money went to Barcus and his fellow partners, not the girls, authorities say.
The victims were often made to receive a physical tattoo with Barcus' nickname of "Boo," since authorities say he considered his victims his personal property. And some girls were given alcohol and narcotics in order to lower their resistance to continued forced sexual activity with strangers the FBI stated.
Edwin Barcus Jr pleaded guilty to engaging in a child exploitation enterprise. The Georgia man began his operation in August of 2007 according to the statement of facts included with his plea agreement. And he could face 20 years to life in prison for his role in the crimes against his female victims. His sentencing date is scheduled for June 7, 2013.