On December 10, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the successful extradition to the United States "of four Mexican sex traffickers," who allegedly ran a prostitution ring on New York's Long Island between 2003 and 2011.
The girls, some as young as 14-years-old, were brought to the U.S. illegally from small, impoverished Mexican towns with promises of romance and a better life.
The girls were put on the streets and forced to service multiple men a day, reportedly working 12-hour shifts. When one of them refused to comply, she was brutally beaten by the defendants, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Mexican nationals, Benito Lopez-Perez, 32, Anastasio Romero-Perez, 39, Jose Gabino Barrientos-Perez, 51, Antonio Lira-Robles, 37, have all been charged with sex trafficking, interstate prostitution, alien smuggling and money laundering offenses.
If convicted of sex trafficking, each defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
During the investigation, federal authorities were able to reunite one of the victims with her child, who was fathered by a convicted sex trafficker and was being held captive in Mexico.
An ICE press release states:
The successful reunification of a Mexican sex trafficking victim with her child, who was being held in Mexico by members of a trafficking organization, was also announced as part of the investigation. The man who had trafficked the victim and fathered the child was convicted in 2005 of multiple counts of sex trafficking and numerous other crimes in one of the first sex trafficking cases prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY). After substantial post-conviction investigation and international coordination, the child was located and reunited with the victim-mother.