Man gets 24 years in prison for role in Atlanta-based sex-trafficking ring

A member of an Atlanta-based sex-trafficking ring has been sentenced to more than 24 years in federal prison for his role with three victims.

Using false promises of love, marriage and legitimate work, Severiano Martinez-Rojas, 53, of Mexico, and two co-defendants lured the victims into fake romantic relationships between 2006 and 2008, the U.S. Justice Department said Monday in a release. They then arranged for others to smuggle the victims into the United States.

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The defendants used violence, threats and intimidation to force the victims to perform countless commercial sex acts in the Atlanta area and Alabama, where Martinez-Rojas operated a brothel, according to authorities.

The operation forced the young women to have sex, at times with upwards of 20 men a night, in 15-minute increments, for payment of $30 to $35, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

“Sex trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery that exploits and traumatizes some of the most vulnerable members of our society,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak of the Northern District of Georgia said.

Co-defendants Arturo Rojas-Coyotl and Odilon Martinez-Rojas previously pleaded guilty to sex trafficking. Rojas-Coyotl was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Martinez-Rojas got a sentence of 21 years and 10 months. Both were ordered to pay $180,000 in restitution to the victims. A third person, Daniel Garcia-Tepal, pleaded guilty to harboring unauthorized immigrants and was sentenced to time served.

Martinez-Rojas was indicted in May 2013 but was a fugitive until he was arrested in Mexico in November 2015.

The amount of restitution he will have to pay will be announced later.

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