Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014
SAVANNAH, GA (AP) -- A federal judge has sentenced a man to life in prison for his role in coordinating what prosecutors say was a sex trafficking ring that forced women into prostitution and traded them between Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas.
Joaquin Mendez-Hernandez was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Savannah five months after he pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to engage in sex trafficking.
At least six women said he forced them to have sex with 30 or more men each day for $25 apiece. Most of the women came to the U.S. from Mexico.
Mendez-Hernandez denied hurting any women and said they traded sex for money voluntarily. He was a key figure among 23 defendants who pleaded guilty to charges related to sex trafficking across the South.