A man has been given the longest prison sentence in American history for child sex trafficking.
Brock Franklin was sentenced to almost 500 years in prison because he ran a trafficking ring which used Facebook as its main recruiting tool.
Franklin recruited girls and women on Facebook before drugging them and threatening them before they were sold online for sex in hotel rooms across Denver, Colorado.
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The girls reportedly had a quota of drugs which they had to take each day, they would have sex with Franklin before being sold online.
Franklin was handed a hefty 472 years behind bars for a total of 30 charges.
Among the charges included human trafficking of a minor, human trafficking of an adult, and soliciting of child prostitution.
One of the victims said Franklin deserves every single minute of his time in jail, with prosecutors supporting the strong message which has been handed out by the justice system.
Janet Drake, a spokeswoman with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, told Fox 31:
A 400-year sentence sends a strong message across the country that we’re not going to tolerate this kind of violence to women and vulnerable populations.
Franklin was originally indicted back in 2015 by grand jury, before his defence pushed for a lesser sentence behind bars.
The victims and prosecutors, however, pushed for a larger sentence, which the judge provided.
Brehannah Leary, one of Franklin’s victims, said:
I can’t begin to even explain what he did to my life. Reading it today, and speaking and actually saying how I felt, and him having hearing and have to sit there and listen and listen to me, that brought me so much joy and that’s why I came today.
He deserves every single minute in those walls.
There were a total of seven members in the trafficking ring, and four of them have already been sentenced.
Franklin was the alleged leader of the ring, and so has been handed down the largest sentence of all the defendants.
Brehannah told KKTV:
Every day the beatings, the name callings, the shaving of one’s head… 400, 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.
Among Franklin’s other charges were pimping a child, inducement of child prostitution, procurement of a child, sexual exploitation of a child, second degree kidnapping, and sexual assault.
There have been reports of 22,000 sex-trafficking cases in the US over the last decade, according to anti-slavery group Polaris.
There are apparently more than 40 million victims of human trafficking, according to the International Labour Organisation.
Of these 40 million, an estimated four million are subjected to sexual exploitation. It is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world.
As an ‘industry’, it is thought sex trafficking is worth an estimated $99 billion every year.
Around 96 per cent of people in the world who are trafficked into sex slavery are women and girls.
They are subject to physical and mental abuse, and suffer severe trauma as a result of their ordeals.