A man convicted of running a child prostitution ring, which involved drugging and sexually exploiting young girls, was handed one of the longest prison sentences in U.S. history: 472 years behind bars.
During a sentencing hearing on Tuesday, Brock Franklin of Colorado was given his sentenceby Arapahoe County Judge Peter F. Michaelson. Franklin’s nearly half-a-century sentence is more than four times the minimum sentence required for a human trafficking case, reported 9News.
Brock Franklin (pictured above, center) was first indicted in 2015 by a grand jury for allegedly using drugs and violence to control young girls. In addition to Brock, four other people involved in the prostitution ring have already been sentenced.
David Fullenwiley Jones (pictured above, left) received an 18-year sentence after pleading guilty to human trafficking for sexual servitude, while Isis Debreaux (pictured above, right) was given a four-year deferred sentence after she pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor, reported the Daily Mail.
In Franklin’s trial, eight of the nine victims named in the case spoke to the jury. Additionally, prosecutors read letters from Franklin’s victims, who detailed the psychological trauma they continue to battle.
“Every morning I wake up I have to remind myself the defendant will no longer be able to hurt me,” one of the letters read.
“I began to doubt myself, thinking everything the defendant told me was true,” the victim’s letter continued. “I am a mother and a soon-to-be wife and I am not all the defendant said I was or to become.”
Franklin used narcotics and violence to control his victims and would set daily quotas for them to meet. He made them advertise themselves on backpage.com, and he would use the money they made to support himself. One of the victims was tracked by GPS by Franklin and would be forced to have sex with him against her will.
When Franklin went on trial in March 2017, he was facing 34 charges including pimping a child, patronizing a child prostitute, kidnapping and assault.
He was found guilty on 30 counts including human trafficking, sexual exploitation of a child, child prostitution, kidnapping, pimping of a child, and racketeering.
The minimum sentence would have been 96 years in prison, which Franklin’s defense team requested; however, Janet Drake of the Attorney General’s Office, asked the judge for a 616 year sentence on behalf of the people of the state of Colorado.
"This is not a minimum sentence type of case," Drake said in court.
Franklin’s defense team argued a 616 year sentence would not be appropriate. His lawyers told the judge a 96 year to life sentence would be ample punishment, since Franklin would likely never live to see his parole eligibility even with that sentence.
Although the judge handed Franklin nearly 500 years in prison, he did take a moment to speak directly to the convicted trafficker.
“Franklin, make the most of your life,” Judge Michaelson said. "Perhaps you can do some good for people who have done bad in their life.”
“The strength you’ve shown to the court makes clear to me you can be as successful in life... as anyone. Don’t let this episode define who you are,” the judge said in his remarks to the victims.
(Photo: Arapahoe County)