Two teenagers who ran away from home accepted the help of a man who offered them a place to stay. Prosecutors said the man took turns raping them and sold them into prostitution.
On Thursday, Mr. Derek Spencer, 34, was sentenced to life in prison without parole and a “John,” Mr. Hossein Sharifi, was sentenced to five years in prison for human trafficking – a first in Georgia, according to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.
A jury found Mr. Spencer guilty of several crimes including: human trafficking; statutory rape; aggravated child molestation; pimping, pandering and sexual exploitation of children, the district attorney’s spokeswoman Ms. Yvette Jones said.
The crimes against Mr. Spencer date back to October 2012 when he approached the victims, two 14-year-old runaway girls, as they were walking away from a Southwest Atlanta convenience store.
He offered the teens a place to stay in his Fletcher Street home.
Soon after, Mr. Spencer and Mr. Kynne Shuler, who has already been convicted and sentenced to 25 years, began supplying the victims with drugs and alcohol and arranging paid ‘dates’ with various men either at the Mr. Spencer’s home or a hotel.
“The victims were forced to turn over their money in exchange for clothes, food and personal hygiene products,” Ms. Jones said. “When they were not being forced to service ‘clients,’ Spencer also took turns having sex with each girl.”
Mr. Spencer and Mr. Shuler were arrested on Oct. 20 inside an Old National Highway hotel after someone called to report that underage females were involved in suspicious activity inside one of the rooms.
“Police rescued the victims from the hotel bathtub where they were hiding,” Ms. Jones said.
A third man, Mr. Hossein Sharifi, the ‘John’ who paid to have sex with the victims, also pleaded guilty to human trafficking charges in connection with the case, Ms. Jones said.
“He is believed to be the first ‘John’ convicted of human trafficking in the State of Georgia,” Ms. Jones said. Mr. Sharifi was sentenced to five years in prison and an additional five years on probation.
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