Prosecutor: Guilty plea shows nature of drug addiction, sex trade is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Corey James Dale Padgett
Corey James Dale Padgett

A Wake County man was ordered to serve four months in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of promoting prostitution in New Hanover County Superior on Thursday. Prosecutors said the case shows how prostitution can sometimes be linked to drug addiction.

Corey James Dale Padgett, 22, of Hidden Oaks Drive in Cary, was arrested at the Days Inn at 5040 Market Street on Jan. 8, charged with one count of promoting prostitution for profit. Padgett had been paying for a room at the hotel, along with food and narcotics, from prostitution proceeds, District Attorney Ben David said.

The 20-year-old victim in the case was addicted to heroin and was admitted into the Wilmington Treatment Center for help. Padgett met the victim when he had checked himself into the treatment clinic and later left with the victim, promoting her prostitution, David said.

According to Assistant District Attorney Connie Jordan, the prosecutor in the case, many people recruited into the “sex trade” have issues of drug addiction and abuse.

“The hidden nature of these crimes have made it difficult for law enforcement officers to enforce our laws and protect the individuals involved in these crimes,” Jordan said. “What law enforcement officers and prosecutors have been able to see firsthand, is that the people exposed to personal violence and health concerns rampant in these criminal offenses are some of the most vulnerable and marginalized individuals in our community.”

North Carolina laws were enacted to address crimes of human trafficking from every aspect, Jordan said, including provisions prohibiting anyone from receiving anything of value from personally rendered prostitution services.

Superior Court Judge Charles Henry sentenced Padgett to 17-30 months in the N.C. Department of Corrections, which was suspended, and ordered him to serve a 4 months’ active time before being released to serve 36 months of probation. Padgett is also required to complete substance abuse treatment during the course of his probation.