A man was given the longest prison sentence in history for child sex trafficking when a court jailed him for almost 500 years.
Brock Franklin, 31, ran a human trafficking ring that reportedly recruited its victims, several women and girls, on Facebook.
The gang then drugged them and threatened them with violence before they were sold online to clients for sex that took place in hotels, Colorado state court heard.
It gave Franklin 472 years in jail after he was found guilty of some 30 crimes, including human trafficking of a minor, human trafficking of an adult and soliciting of child prostitution, according to local reports.
One victim said Franklin “deserves every single minute” of his term, while prosecutors said the sentence gave out a "strong message" that could help deter future violent crimes.
“A 400-year sentence sends a strong message across the country that we’re not going to tolerate this kind of violence,” Janet Drake, a spokeswoman with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, told FOX 31 news channel after the sentencing.
A court official contacted by email could not immediately respond to a request for further details about the case.
The sentence was reportedly the longest given in US history for a case of human trafficking.
“I can’t begin to even explain what he did to my life,” one of the victims told local media.
“He deserves every single minute in those walls,” she said.
Another victim, Brehannah Leary, said: "Every day the beatings, the name callings, the shavings of one’s head. ... Four hundred, 500 years, it's a very long time.
"He’s never getting out of prison. It’s closure, but still doesn’t give me what I wanted,” she added, according to a KKTV report.
The sex trafficking ring counted seven members, four of whom have already been sentenced, it was reported.
Anti-slavery group Polaris said it had received reports of more than 22,000 sex-trafficking cases in the United States over the last decade.
Globally, more than 40 million people are victims of human trafficking, according to the International Labour Organization. An estimated 4 million of them are forced into sexual exploitation.
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