Two plead guilty in federal court to forcing teen Columbia girl into prostitution

nophillips@thestate.comDecember 19, 2013 

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A man and woman arrested in July as part of a national crackdown on child prostitution have pleaded guilty in federal court.

Andrea Bosticand Thomas Tyrell Summers, both 21, admitted to forcing a 16-year-old girl into prostitution. A third co-defendant in the case, William J. Gibson, appeared in court but did not plead guilty.

The guilty pleas were accepted by U.S. District Judge Joseph Anderson. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.

Under federal law, the two face a minimum of 10 years of prison and a maximum of life in prison. They also may be forced to pay up to $250,000 in fines.

The three were arrested as part of a nationwide sting coordinated by the FBI. The sting rescued 105 children, ages 13 to 17, who had been working in the sex industry and rounded up 150 alleged pimps.

Federal agents along with local police busted Bostic, Gibson and Summers after searching escort services on a website called Backpage.com. They found pictures of the 16-year old and made an appointment to meet the teen at a Two Notch Road motel. There, the girl agreed to accept $80 from an undercover agent for a 30-minute session, according to previous court testimony.

The 16-year old was a runaway. Police said they also found a bipolar 19-year old who was being used as a prostitute. Bostic was in another room, and Gibson was in a car in the parking lot.

Gibson allegedly tried to flee but was stopped by police. A loaded 9 mm Glock handgun and .38-caliber ammunition were in his car, according to court records.

Bostic took the 16-year-old’s picture and posted it on the website Backpage.com after being told to do so by Gibson. Gibson allegedly acted as the pimp, who paid for hotel rooms and received the money the women earned by having sex, according to previous court testimony.

The 16-year old told police she had been working for Gibson for a couple of weeks. The group had spent two days in late July working out of a motel on Hilton Head Island. On the day of the bust, the 16-year old said she already had had sex with one client, an FBI agent said during previous court hearing.

The 19-year old said she had been forced to work as a prostitute because Gibson said she owed him money. She also told police that she had been held at gunpoint and handcuffed to a bed, previous court hearings revealed.

Gibson also faces a murder charge, two counts of assault with intent to kill and one count of discharging a firearm into a dwelling in state court. He was out of jail on bond when he was arrested in the prostitution sting.

Reach Phillips at (803) 771-8307.

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