Monday, April 16, 2007

California: Man Pleads Guilty to Forcing Teens Into Prostitution

An Oceanside man pleaded guilty to two federal charges of sex trafficking children by force, admitting that he forced two teen-age girls to work as prostitutes.

Luther Gene Ray Jr., 23, pleaded guilty to the two felony counts [in late March] before United States District Judge Edward Rafeedie in Los Angeles. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Ray is expected to receive a sentence of 100 months in federal prison.

In a plea agreement and in court today, Ray admitted that he was a pimp to two minor girls in May 2004, and that he had them work for him as prostitutes in Los Angeles and Orange counties, as well as in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ray required the girls to engage in commercial sex acts and to give him all of the money they earned. Ray used coercive methods to ensure that the girls would perform sex acts in exchange for money. Ray kept a close watch over the girls while they worked as prostitutes and made them believe that if they disobeyed him or broke one of his rules, he would physically harm them.

Ray is scheduled to be sentenced on June 18, 2007.

This is the second prosecution of child sex trafficking brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the past 6 months.


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