Fulton County jurors found a man guilty Thursday of several crimes linked to prostituting 14-year-old girls in 2012.
Derek Spencer, 34, was convicted of human trafficking, statutory rape, aggravated child molestation, pimping, pandering, sexual exploitation of children, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to a news release from Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard Jr.’s office.
Spencer was sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole.
Spencer picked up the girls in October 2012 as they were leaving a convenience store in southwest Atlanta, according to the release. The girls were runaways and he offered them his Fletcher Street home as a place to stay, authorities said. He soon began pimping the girls and requiring them to give him any money they made through arranged encounters with other men. Spencer also had sex with the girls, authorities said.
Spencer was arrested Oct. 20, 2012, after an anonymous tipster told authorities there were underage girls “involved in suspicious activity” at a hotel on Old National Highway, according to the release. Also arrested that day was Spencer’s associate, Kynne Shuler, 33, who entered a guilty plea before his trial began. Shuler supplied the girls with drugs, alcohol and arranged sexual encounters with paying customers, the release said. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
One of the men who had sex with the girls, Hossein Sharifi, was arrested and later pleaded guilty to human trafficking. He was sentenced to five years in prison and five years of probation. Authorities say Sharifi may be the first “John” to be convicted of human trafficking in Georgia.
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