A District Heights man convicted in January of running a prostitution operation out of the Hilton Hotel in Rockville earning him the nickname “the Pimp on the Pike” will spend more than 10 years behind bars.
Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Ronald Rubin said Wednesday he had considered Nahshon Kornegay’s “total lack of remorse” before handing down a 20-year, six-month sentence, 10 years of which were suspended. Rubin also sentenced Kornegay, 32, to five years of supervised probation.
In January, a jury found Kornegay guilty of six counts of human trafficking, prostitution, attempting to distribute drugs, and related charges.
The sentence was close to what prosecutors had been hoping for, according to Ramon Korionoff, spokesman for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office. The sentence sends a strong message that human trafficking won’t be tolerated in Montgomery County, he said.
Timothy Clarke, who represented Kornegay, said in the hearing that his client had turned his life around in prison. He also disputed prosecutors’ depictions of the two prostitutes as victims, claiming they had been willing participants, and that Kornegay had never hurt them.
But Montgomery County Assistant State’s Attorney Patrick Mays told Rubin that Kornegay “devoted himself to the exploitation of young women, and he’s not going to stop.”
Kornegay acted as a pimp for two women, renting rooms for them at the Hilton Hotel on Rockville Pike, and posting ads for their services, Mays said. He threatened to hit them if they did not give him their earnings, he said.
They were part of Kornegay’s operation “Exclusive Entertainment,” a company which he had made business cards for, and was planning to expand to involve six women, May said.
Kornegay sat quietly through most of the hearing, but when he spoke, he said that Mays had portrayed him as a “super villain, or a super pimp….”
“There’s no proof,” he said. “For him to throw out those allegations, I don’t think is fair.”
He called his conviction and incarceration “a very harsh reality check,” adding that he had made a conscious effort to rehabilitate himself and show he could be a productive member of society.
Police closed in on Kornegay on March 22, 2012, after a hotel guest at the Hilton complained to staff at the hotel that a prostitute named “Me-Me” had solicited him, according to his arrest warrant. Police used the pseudonym to track the woman down on www.backpage.com, a prostitution website, where they discovered her profile and that of “Nikole,” another woman who worked with her.
While on bond before his trial, Kornegay was flaunting his wealth and his life as a pimp, Mays said, showing the judge Facebook photos Kornegay posted of piles of dollar bills, when he was supposedly indigent, or posing with cheerleaders at a skybox during a Redskins game, or shooting handguns with his children.
Police also learned in interviews with the women that Kornegay had shuttled them to hotels in Virginia and Montgomery County, collecting money from them after they performed sex acts on their clients.
One of the women said she had not run away because she didn’t know where she was, Mays said, in the hearing.
Mays told Rubin that Kornegay had rented rooms for the prostitutes, given them drugs so that they could work all night, and threatened to hit them if they did not turn over their earnings to them.