Marlon Thomas was found guilty of both counts (YCDF)

BILLINGS – The Billings man convicted at trial of promoting a teenage girl for prostitution will spend more than two decades behind bars.

Marlon Duante Thomas, 35, was sentenced in Yellowstone County District Court on Thursday to 25 years at the Montana State Prison with five years suspended.

Thomas was convicted at his November trial of aggravated promotion of prostitution and promoting prostitution.

Because he had a teenage victim, Judge Rod Souza also ordered Thomas not to have contact with children.

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Prosecutors presented evidence at trial that Thomas promoted a 17-year-old girl and 19-year-old woman for prostitution on Backpage.com.

An undercover agent responded to the ad and arranged a meeting with the younger victim, who said her rate was $200 for one hour.

The girl thought she was meeting with a client at the hotel, but instead encountered officers.

The girl told officers she and her 19-year-old friend met Thomas at a party and he offered to help them make some money.

According to court documents, both victims confirmed Thomas took the photos of them that were posted in the online ads.

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