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.
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.
“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.