TAMPA — A Largo man was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in federal prison for prostituting a 14-year-old girl via the now-defunct erotic services section of Craigslist.
Officers investigating child sex trafficking around the time of Super Bowl XLIII arrested Manuel A. Walcott and Pasquale O. Holt after they offered the teenager and an 18-year-old to an undercover officer for $300.
They called the deal the "Super Bowl special" and advertised with a sexually explicit photo of the 14-year-old on Craigslist, according to court records.
Walcott, who was sentenced Wednesday, drove both teens to a hotel in the West Shore business district for the rendezvous. At the time, the younger teen was a month shy of her 15th birthday.
In July, a jury convicted Walcott, 31, of Largo, of two counts related to child sex trafficking and one count of producing child pornography.
In sentencing Walcott, U.S. District Judge Richard A. Lazzara ordered that he remain on supervised release for life following his prison term.
Authorities found pornographic images of both teenagers, one of which had been used in the advertisement on Craigslist, on Holt's phone. Craigslist shut down its adult services section last month after attorneys general from 17 states complained that it facilitated prostitution.
Holt, 25, pleaded guilty to one count related to child sex trafficking in June. He is scheduled to be sentenced in November.