The plot involved fooling young, Southern California women with promises of legitimate, well-paying modeling jobs or sincere-sounding romantic overtures, but ended with pressuring victims into seedy prostitution.
In February, two of the conspirators--Roshaun Nakia Porter, 39, and Marquis Monte Horn, 40--received respective prison terms of 240 months and 78 months for their roles in the sex trafficking outfit operating from 2010 to 2012.
Valsin Antoine Francois--a third member of the sex ring--learned his fate this month inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse. It's not clear what punishment Francois, who was born in 1978, or federal prosecutors sought. U.S. District Court Judge Josephine L. Staton allowed the parties to seal their positions.
It is known that Francois, who used his credit card to buy online ads and hotel rooms in the criminal operation, has until noon on July 13 to self-surrender to federal agents and begin a 37-month prison stint.
Several victims told law enforcement officers that the men pretended to have intense romantic feelings for them, bought them expensive dinners and handed them cash. It didn't take long for the real motive to become clear. The women were eventually placed in hotel rooms and ordered to perform sex acts on anonymous paying customers.
A federal prosecutor called the scheme, masterminded by Porter, "reprehensible" and "intolerable," and noted the "extreme trauma" caused to the women.
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"Over the course of nearly two years, Porter victimized young women with flagrant lies, bogus romantic overtures and acts of violence as he forced them to give up their bodies for his profit," Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura told reporters earlier this year.
FBI agents solved the case.