Couple charged with prostitution

Pasadena pair placed ad on Craigslist offering sex with pregnant wife, police say

April 05, 2007|By Jamie Stiehm | Jamie Stiehm,Sun reporter

A pregnant woman and her husband have been charged with prostitution after advertising sex on a popular Web site with the mother-to-be for $300, Anne Arundel County police said yesterday.

Diane Carmine Cornwell, 34, and Jesse Woodrow Cornwell III, 32, had posted an ad on Craigslist that described the woman as pregnant, said Cpl. Sara Schriver, a police spokeswoman. An undercover officer arrested the couple Monday after Jesse Cornwell welcomed him into their Pasadena home.

The arrests stemmed from one of two prostitution stings set up by the department's vice unit that day.

Craigslist and other online classified sites have become a popular marketplace for sex workers and their clients; fees are established after the two parties make contact.

Craigslist's Baltimore-area listings yesterday showed hundreds of entries offering sex, including 14 from men specifically seeking pregnant women.

Vice unit police, Schriver said, have scoured the free Web site for two years to curb online prostitution in the county.

"They continually check Internet sites and see how far they can get with each ad," she said. "A lot of times, [they] try to make the appointment, and people get scared or they don't show up or it's false altogether, [only] kids playing around."

Officers on Monday also arrested Shannon Marine Burney, 30, of Columbia, S.C., at the Knights Inn in Laurel. She and an undercover detective agreed he would pay her $250 for sex. Burney had also used Craigslist to set up appointments, police said.

Solicitations posted by Burney and the Cornwells have since been removed from Craigslist.

Last summer, county police arrested four out-of-town women suspected of prostitution. Like Burney, they used Craigs- list to arrange Baltimore-area hotel meetings with clients.

The Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport area is known as a convenient hub for sex workers who live in other states, Schriver said.

The Cornwells were each charged with prostitution and two related charges, and Burney was charged with prostitition and a related charge. If convicted, they could be sentenced to a year in jail and a $500 fine.

jamie.stiehm@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Ruma Kumar contributed to this article.

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