A convicted sex-trafficker received suspended jail time for bringing a woman into Warren County for prostitution two years ago.
Judge William W. Sharp sentenced Jarred Stephon Barclay in Warren County Circuit Court on Monday to two years in prison, with all but time served suspended, for committing one count of sex trafficking for money. Sharp ordered Barclay to remain on good behavior for two years as a condition of the suspended sentence.
A Warren County grand jury indicted Barclay, 35, of 311 Vickie Bullet St., Martinsburg, West Virginia, on Dec. 4, 2017, on a charge of bringing someone into a bawdy place on July 26, 2017. An agreement reached between Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan C. Layton and defense counsel John S. Bell called for Barclay to plead guilty under North Carolina v. Alford to the amended charge of sex trafficking. A defendant who enters an “Alford plea” maintains his innocence but acknowledges that the prosecution has sufficient evidence and he doesn’t want to risk the court finding him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Sharp accepted Barclay’s plea and the agreement, which also included punishment.
Virginia code identifies sex trafficking as a Class 5 felony and defines the offense as any person who solicits, invites, recruits, encourages or otherwise causes or attempts to cause someone to engage in prostitution and collects or intends to collect money from the unlawful act. The felony carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Barclay picked up Amber Fortune in Martinsburg and went to Front Royal for the sole purpose of prostitution, according to a criminal complaint completed by Crystal Cline, with Front Royal Police Department. Barclay called another man to go with him after picking up Fortune. An undercover officer made arrangements by text message via telephone from approximately 2:30-10 p.m., the complaint states. Fortune arrived at a hotel room at 10:10 p.m.
Police charged Fortune with prostitution. Fortune told law enforcement agents Barclay told her which hotel room to go to, the complaint states. Fortune said she was promised drugs and a hotel room to shower and sleep for prostitution services, according to the complaint. The undercover officer called the number used to send text messages to set up the meeting and Barclay’s phone rang, the complaint states.
Fortune, 29, of Martinsburg at the time of her arrest on July 26, 2017, was charged with soliciting prostitution and unauthorized possession of drug paraphernalia. Fortune was released from Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail the day after her arrest and remained free on bond with her charges in Warren County General District Court, according to online records. At a March 6 hearing, a judge dismissed both charges against Fortune at the request of the prosecutor.
Barclay received a harsher penalty in a Maryland court for committing crimes related to human trafficking and prostitution on Aug. 30, 2017, according to online records. Judge Karla Smith sentenced Barclay in Montgomery County Circuit Court on Oct. 9, 2018, to six-year prison terms for three separate charges. The judge ordered that the terms run concurrently and that Barclay receive credit for time served while awaiting trial.