Clayton County man sentenced to 70 years in prison for trafficking 15-year-old

A Clayton County man was sentenced Wednesday to 70 years in prison for trafficking a 15-year-old girl, according to the Georgia attorney general.

Theodore Browne Jr., 32, who was convicted March 3, must also register as a sex offender, Attorney General Chris Carr said in a statement. Browne’s victim was present in court and gave a statement during his sentencing.

“This sentence demonstrates the severity of the crimes committed by Theodore Browne Jr., who made the active choice to abuse and exploit an underage girl for sex, putting her health and safety at risk every step of the way,” Carr said. “While today’s hearing was the final chapter in our prosecution of this multi-defendant case, our support of this victim is unwavering and we are so proud of the strength and courage she has shown throughout this process. She has regained her voice, four of her traffickers are off the streets and behind bars, and justice has once again been served.”

Browne was found guilty on four counts of trafficking of persons for sexual servitude and one count of cruelty to children in the first degree following a five-day trial, the attorney general previously said. Three others, including two buyers and a seller, were previously sentenced for selling a girl for sex in 2018.

During an interview in 2019, the victim told investigators she was sold for sex by Browne and Christopher Weldon over a period of several months in 2018. Investigators then sought suspects accused of purchasing the girl for sex, Carr previously said. Daniel Horne of Stockbridge and Gregory Michael Benoit of Marietta were also identified as suspects.

According to investigators, the victim was sexually trafficked out of two hotels in Clayton County, where Browne and Weldon rented rooms and arranged for buyers to purchase the girl for sex.

On July 25, 2022, Weldon pleaded guilty to one count each of trafficking of persons for sexual servitude and statutory rape. He was sentenced to 25 years, with the first 15 to be served in prison. Weldon is serving his time at Coffee Correctional Facility in Nicholls, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Then on Aug. 26, Benoit pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking of persons for sexual servitude and was sentenced to 15 years, with the first five to be served in prison. He is serving his time at Lee State Prison in Leesburg, DOC records show.

In February, Horne was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison. He is an inmate at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison near Jackson.