UPPER MARLBORO, Md. – Two Maryland men are facing charges of human trafficking and sex abuse of a minor in connection with a sex trafficking ring involving a 16-year-old girl.
Raleigh McClam, 36, of Upper Marlboro, and Saivon Sharpe, 22, of Oxon Hill, are accused of taking the teenage girl to hotels across the Washington area for the purpose of prostitution, according to court documents.
Montgomery County police said they first became aware of this just after Christmas when they got a 911 call from the teenage victim.
Police say Sharpe approached the victim and asked her if she wanted to work for him. He told her that she would receive money for having sexual intercourse with men. McClam then received phone calls from men who wanted to have sex with the victim, gave the victim instructions on how to accept money and provided her with a phone.
The victim says McClam had intercourse with her prior to having her engage in prostitution with the other males. She also said, when she, McClam and Sharpe were at hotels, Sharpe was in possession of a handgun and displayed it on several occasions.
Authorities say McClam was Sharpe’s manager in the ring. Investigators located ads in an escort section of a classified advertising website that were determined to have been placed on the website by McClam.
McClam was employed by Prince George’s County Public System as a bus driver from June 2015 until February 2016, according to the school system. However, Montgomery County District Court records indicate that McClam still works as a Prince George’s County Public Schools bus driver. The suspect told courthouse staff he’s held the job for about a year.
Detectives say around Christmas 2015, Sharpe met the teen and offered her a prostitution gig that could generate pay of up to $750 per night. Upon accepting the proposal, Sharpe allegedly provided the girl with prostitution coaching, a cell phone and a strict billing schedule: $80 for 15 minutes, $180 for 30 minutes, and $350-400 for two hours.
Throughout the month of December, Sharpe allegedly took the teenage girl to five hotels across the D.C. metro area, including the Red Roof Inn Plus along Shady Grove Road in Rockville. While at the Red Roof Inn, police say Sharpe introduced the girl to his manager (Raleigh McClam), who went by the nickname “Lee.” McClam allegedly convinced the 16-year-old to have sex with him, claiming it was a quality control test. The girl complied.
Montgomery County District Court records indicate that McClam works as a Prince George’s County Public Schools bus driver. The suspect told courthouse staff he’s held the job for about a year.
“Certainly that is part of the investigation, but at this time, there is no known connection between the victim and either of these suspects’ occupations,” said Montgomery County Police Cpl. Rebecca Innocenti.
Upon further investigation, detectives located two ads on the escort section of Backpage.com; both reportedly created with an email account belonging to McClam. Additionally, the Red Roof Inn Plus motel confirmed McClam and Sharpe rented two rooms on the night of December 29, 2015.
We reached out to Prince George’s County Public Schools and they would not confirm if McClam worked as a bus driver for the school system. A spokesperson told us it is not their policy to discuss any individual student, employee or family member, but they do conduct rigorous background checks.
The press contacted Prince George’s County Public Schools Wednesday afternoon, inquiring about McClam’s employment claims. As of 6 a.m. Thursday, the school system had not provided an exact answer, citing a delay in connecting with its human resources department to cover up the situation.
McClam, who is married with three children, bonded out of jail on February 18. He will appear in Montgomery County District Court on March 11 at 10 a.m. for a preliminary hearing. He faces up to 175 years in prison.