A man from Colorado named Brock Franklin was sentenced to 472 years in prison for heading a violent child sex ring. The punishment is believed to be the longest-ever sentence for a sex trafficker in US history.
Arapahoe County Judge Peter Michaelson sentenced Mr Brock Franklin to more than four times the minimum required sentence for operating the prostitution ring.
Ms Janet Drake of the Attorney General’s office said: “This is not a minimum sentence type of case.” Her office had initially requested the judge to sentence Mr Franklin to 616 years in prison.
Mr Franklin earned a conviction for 30 charges out of the 34 pressed against him. In addition, five of six alleged Franklin associates accused of taking part in the scheme (which involved physical abuse, a pistol-whipping, forced sex and the use of drugs to maintain loyalty), received sanctions of their own ranging from deferred sentences to an eighteen-year prison term.
The indictment against Mr Franklin and his alleged gang members, Ms Isis Debreaux, Mr Doyne Johnson, Mr David Fullenwiley Jones, Mr Brandon Garrison, Mr Ralph Jones and Ms Michelle Payne contained in total 59 counts.
The charges ranged from kidnapping, child pimping, soliciting for child prostitution and more. Numerous victims were impacted by the gang of Mr Franklin, including a juvenile referred to as D.Y.
Between April and July of 2015, Mr Franklin recruited D.Y. to leave her parents' home and stay with him. During this period, she was also made "available" to perform acts of prostitution at customers' homes or hotels that included the Commons Hotel, the Doubletree Hotel and the Red Lion.
Mr Franklin publicized the girl’s services on Backpage.com.
The victims had prepared letters which were read out in court: “The tough ones are us women. The prison time he will serve does not compare to the damage he has caused to these women or myself. Every morning I wake up I have to remind myself the defendant will no longer be able to hurt me.
“I began to doubt myself, thinking everything the defendant had told me was true. I am a mother and a soon-to-be wife and I am not all the defendant said I was or to be become.”