Derrick Manuel was sentenced to life in prison, including 40 years to serve, according to the Fulton County District Attorney.
Photo: Fulton County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Sex trafficker gets life for forcing 20-year-old to ‘make him money’

He threatened to kill a 20-year-old woman and her family if she failed to go along with his demands, according to investigators. Derrick Manuel then violently forced the woman to have sex with him and others so he could cash in. 

Manuel’s victim was able to escape and report the crimes to police. This week, a Fulton County jury convicted him on several charges, including sex trafficking, terroristic threats, pimping, pandering, simple battery and obstruction, according to the District Attorney’s Office. 

Manuel, 25, was sentenced to life in prison, including 40 to serve behind bars and the remainder on probation. He had been in the Fulton jail since his arrest on Oct. 3, 2018, booking records show. 

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According to prosecutors, Manuel threatened to riddle the woman’s home with bullets on Sept. 1, 2018, if she didn’t comply with his orders. At Manuel’s home, the woman refused his advances, so he choked her until she lost consciousness. 

When the woman awoke, Manuel forced her to have sex with him, she later told police. Manuel then drove her to a southwest Atlanta truck stop, where he forced her to solicit male customers for sex. The woman was unwilling to participate, according to investigators. 

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“Manuel’s agitation grew, and the defendant told the victim she had to ‘make him some money’ or suffer the consequences,” the DA’s office said in an emailed statement. 

Manuel told the woman he had killed two other women and dumped their bodies, and said she and her family would suffer the same fate if she did not try harder. The woman was able to escape the following day when Manuel allowed her to attend church, according to investigators. 

After his arrest, Manuel continued to contact the woman from jail, urging her to tell investigators she had lied, the DA’s office said. Manuel’s criminal record includes seven arrests, Fulton jail records show. 

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