In May, four men were indicted and arrested on human trafficking charges after they were caught allegedly forcing a 14-year-old girl into a life of prostitution, according to CBS.
Acting New Jersey Attorney General John Hoffman filed the charges against three men from Jersey City, Michael McLeod, David Powell Jr. and Tyree Jeter, as well as one man from South Carolina, Demetrius James Hayward.
Aside from the human trafficking charges, the thugs also faced charges of criminal conspiracy, child endangerment, and a multitude of other charges related to a prostitution ring they were allegedly running.
The FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, in charge of investigating cases of sexual slavery, had been tipped off to the terrible crime after pictures of the 14-year-old girl were used in ads for an “escort service.”
According to CBS, McLeod, who headed up the operation, used both threats and actual violence to compel the 14-year-old and an 18-year-old woman to engage in sexual acts with up to 10 men per day in exchange for money — collected by McLeod, of course.
“This is a heartbreaking case that fits a classic pattern of human trafficking,” a news release from Hoffman said. “No child would submit to such horrific conditions unless she faced a threat of violence, which in this case allegedly was conveyed by the ring’s boss in the form of brutal attacks on a second victim.”
Based on data from the United Nations Children’s Fund, an estimated 5.5 million children are victims of human sex trafficking, an illegal industry worth nearly $150 billion annually.
If the men are convicted of first-degree human trafficking, they could face up to 20 years in prison without parole and fines of up to $200,000.
Which is far, far too good for them.
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H/T Opposing Views