Prosecutors charged Murphy with two misdemeanor counts of tattooing a person under 18, she said.
Murphy was on parole for possession of drugs for sale, Glendale Police Officer John Balian said.
“He sold to an undercover officer and went to state prison,” he said.
Murphy and Coleman and six other men were arrested Friday during a sting operation Glendale’s VICE squad had set up to arrest men who solicited sex to an undercover female officer.
Undercover officers were conducting the sting at hotel on the 1500 block of Colorado Street when they found the pair at neighboring hotel.
A police officer noticed Coleman was smoking marijuana outside the hotel.
Police questioned and followed Coleman into his hotel room, where they saw one girl sitting on a bed with Murphy as the other girl was taking a shower.
Murphy was the girls’ tattoo artist, Balian said. He tattooed one of the girls once and the other had been tattooed a few times, he said.
The girls, who are runaways, admitted to police that they were underage and had been prostituting themselves since they were 15, Glendale Officer Blanca Razana said.
The girls left their foster and group homes last year and met Coleman, who offered them a lifestyle of parties, drugs and alcohol, she said.
The girls admitted to having sex with Coleman, Blanca said.
They reportedly were later forced into prostitution.
The girls offered sexual services for $50 to $60 in the San Fernando Valley, but slept in a Glendale hotel room at night, police said.
The girls never kept their earnings from prostitution; instead they gave all their money to Coleman, who was the girls’ pimp, police said.
Coleman would not tell police whether he had pimped other woman, Balian said.
He reportedly promised to buy the girls new shoes. And while he kept their earnings, police said, he bought them clothes and candy.
The girls were afraid to leave Coleman, police said, because he provided them with a place to sleep.
Police took the girls to a group home after the men were arrested, Balian said.
The group home has counseling available for the girls, he said.
A preliminary hearing for Coleman is scheduled Dec. 12 in Burbank Superior Court. A jury trial for Murphy will be Dec. 8 in Glendale Superior Court.
VERONICA ROCHA covers public safety and the courts. She may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at email@example.com.