A 21-year-old Halawa man is the only one of five defendants to receive the mandatory minimum 10-year prison term for prostituting a 16-year-old girl and advertising her services on Craigslist.
A federal judge sentenced Marcus Xavier Arrington to the prison term Tuesday for sex trafficking of a minor. U.S. District Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway also sentenced Arrington to the mandatory minimum of five years’ supervised release to take effect after he completes his prison term.
She had previously sentenced three other defendants to 33 months behind bars and another one to 46 months in prison. All of them, three men and one woman, in their early 20s, had faced 10-year prison terms.
Mollway said Arrington deserved a longer sentence than the others.
"He was more culpable than the others. He recruited the victim, he was the leader. And he did not cooperate with the government," the judge said.
The law does not give her the discretion to impose a sentence shorter than 10 years, she said.
Arrington said the prostitution wasn’t his idea. He had known the girl since she was 6 years old. He apologized to her mother. Neither the girl nor her mother was in court.
"I didn’t orchestrate this. Everybody made mistakes," he said, "I was foolish, I was young. I was just trying to fit in with my friends."
But federal prosecutor Michael Song said Arrington was the leader of the operation. He arranged for the girl’s housing and transportation and collected the money. He also said Arrington admitted having prior experience as the pimp for one of the other defendants and has a violent criminal history.
Arrington pleaded no contest in state court to second-degree assault in 2009 for hitting another person on the head with a beer bottle in Blaisdell Park.
Mollway said Arrington’s juvenile record includes expulsion from high school for fighting and violence against a family member.
The victim told Honolulu police Arrington forced her to work as a prostitute in December 2008 by plying her with drugs and threatening her with a handgun after she had run away from home. She also told police Arrington sexually assaulted her.