Maryland pair accused of prostituting 16-year-old girl on Backpage

Maryland pair accused of prostituting 16-year-old girl on Backpage

Andre Lamar Russell

(Story broke 6/6/2017)

28-year-old Andre Lamar Russell and 23-year-old Heather Lynn Harding are accused of allegedly prostituting a 16-year-old girl out of a hotel in Jessup, Maryland. The girl is said to be a runaway who Russell offered a place to stay then sexually assaulted the girl and coerced her to use drugs, probably in an attempt to get her addicted. While Backpage was not involved in this investigation, it was discovered that the girl was being turned out on the website.

Here’s what I don’t understand. When I post a story that in any way involves child abuse, like this one, everyone is ready to get out the pitchfork and torches. However, when I post a story about a girl being turned out for prostitution no one bats an eyelash. Make no mistake, while a pimp is nowhere close to being a parent, this is a form of child abuse. We should be just as outraged.

UPDATE 7/7/2017: Also charged with allegedly trafficking the girl is 31-year-old Jessica Lynn Smitherman, of Laurel, Maryland.