PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Artavius Horne, a/k/a “Lo”, 36, of Philadelphia, PA was sentenced to 45 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release by United States District Court Judge Gerald J. Pappert for sex trafficking three children for years.
In September 2019, Horne was convicted at trial of three counts of sex trafficking minors by force, fraud or coercion. During the week-long trial, the government proved that the defendant organized, operated and led a sex trafficking venture based in and around Northeast Philadelphia between 2013 and 2015, and in 2018. As part of the scheme, the defendant recruited, enticed and maintained three minor children, one of whom was as young as 13 years old, to engage in commercial sexual encounters. Horne created Internet advertisements for each of the victims on the website Backpage.com, and he transported them across state lines to New Jersey, New York, Washington D.C., and Maryland for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts. He also kept the victims in apartments throughout Philadelphia, known as “trap houses,” where they were made to engage in commercial sex for the benefit of the defendant. In 2017, Horne was convicted of similar offenses in Bucks County, PA.
“Horne committed these heinous acts while on parole for doing the exact same thing,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “He has no regard for the law — or even basic human decency — as evidenced by his willingness to sell the bodies of children for sex to benefit himself. He deserves every minute of the 45 years that he received today.”
“Artavius Horne made his living by sexually exploiting children, advertising underage girls for sex with strangers,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “He even transported them to other cities and states, determined to keep the money coming in at their expense. Know that the FBI and our law enforcement partners are working every day to put traffickers like Horne behind bars and ensure some justice for their victims. We ask anyone with knowledge of child or adult sex trafficking to let us know about it, so we can help. Call 1-800-CALL-FBI or go online to tips.fbi.gov. Tipsters can remain anonymous, if they like.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and it is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Melanie Babb Wilmoth.