A federal judge Tuesday sentenced Eric J. Thompson, 29, of Jacksonville, N.C., to 15 years in prison for forcing five women to become prostitutes, according to officials.
Thompson plead guilty on Nov. 9 to one count of interstate transportation for prostitution, and one count of using an interstate facility to promote a prostitution business enterprise, officials said.
According to documents filed in the case and admissions in connection with the guilty plea, Thompson operated an interstate prostitution operation in North Carolina and South Carolina.
He used false promises of money and fame to recruit and entice five women to prostitute, and then used isolation, threats, and abuse to force them to continue prostituting, according to officials.
Thompson further filmed himself performing sexual acts with the women and posted those videos online for sale without the victims’ consent.
“Human trafficking is quite simply, a form of modern-day slavery, and the threats and abuse inflicted on these particular victims only adds to the heinous nature of the crime,” said Special Agent in Charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations Atlanta Nick Annan.
Adding, “HSI made a record number of more than 2,000 human trafficking arrests in 2016 and rescued more than 400 trafficking victims nationwide, with many of them often hidden in plain sight. HSI will continue our relentless pursuit to investigate and seek prosecution of criminal traffickers while ensuring the victims of this terrible crime are rescued and get the care they need.”
A second defendant, Dequann Ross, plead guilty on Aug. 9 to one count of using an interstate facility to promote a prostitution business enterprise for his role in aiding and abetting Thompson.
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