JESSUP, Md. (WJZ) — A 27-year-old Jessup man pleaded guilty to human trafficking and prostitution charges that arose from advertisements posted online last February.

Jabari A. Theodore, of the 1000 block of Guilford Road pled guilty before Howard County Circuit Court Judge William V. Tucker on Wednesday morning.

In February, detectives were investigating a robbery and looking to interview Theodore and a young woman. The detectives recognized the woman as a known victim of human trafficking and found an ad for prostitution in the Laurel area on the website Backpage.com.

Last April the FBI and additional agencies seized the sex marketplace website and shut it down. Police monitored the website which was known for prostitution, often involving girls who are victims of trafficking.

An undercover detective responded to the ad on February 27 and agreed to meet the woman at a hotel in the 9800 block of Washington Boulevard, Laurel.

When the detectives went to the woman’s room, they noticed Jabari Theodore walk out of a side door at the hotel.

Assistant State’s Attorney Colleen McGuinn told the court that hotel staff and the woman said that Theodore rented the room. The woman also told police that Theodore coordinated her appointments and forced her to perform sex acts for money which he would then take from her.

His sentencing date is set for November 9.

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