This man just received the longest prison sentence for child trafficking in history
Earlier this week, the world was made aware of the case of Cyntoia Brown after a group of impassioned celebrities including Rihanna and Kim Kardashian took to social media to share her story. At the age of 16, Brown was sex-trafficked by a pimp called "Kutthroat", drugged, abused, raped and eventually sold to a 43-year-old businessman. During a dangerous altercation with this man, Brown used one of his guns to shoot him, a fatal bullet that would land Brown in jail for a near life sentence. It's a powerful story, and people are fighting for her justice.
Now just a week later, the world has been introduced to another story of sex trafficking in America, and it's just as harrowing. A Colorado man was given the longest prison sentence in history – almost 500 years – for child sex trafficking.
31-year-old Brock Franklin ran a human trafficking ring, where he reportedly found women and girls to be sold as prostitutes through Facebook. Prosecutors said he used drugs and violence to control young girls, and he regularly forced them to have sex with him. Franklin sold the victims online, who were then forced to have sex with clients in various hotels and motels in the greater Denver metro areas.
As a result, the convicted child trafficker has been given a total of 472 years in jail. The Arapahoe County jury found him guilty of 30 crimes, including human trafficking of minors and adults, soliciting of child prostitution, sexual exploitation of a child, and kidnapping. It's the longest sentence in history for crimes of this nature.
Reports say Franklin was originally charged with the crimes by a grand jury in 2015, but it was only in March that his multiple life sentences were given.
“A 400-year sentence sends a strong message across the country that we’re not going to tolerate this kind of violence,” said spokeswoman with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, Janet Drake, to FOX 31 after the sentencing.
Brehannah Leary, one of Franklin's victims, spoke at the hearing.
“I can’t begin to even explain what he did to my life,” she told the court.
“Reading it today, and speaking and actually saying how I felt, and him having hearing and have to sit there and listen and listen to me, that brought me so much joy and that’s why I came today," she said after the sentencing. “He deserves every single minute in those walls."
Leary said for the crimes against her alone, Franklin got 64 years of jail time. "Every day the beatings, the name callings, the shavings of one’s head. ... Four hundred, 500 years, it's a very long time," she added.
"He’s never getting out of prison. It’s closure, but still doesn’t give me what I wanted.”
Authorities counted seven members of the sex trafficking ring, four of whom have reportedly already been sentenced. Franklin was reported to have been calm and collected during the hearing, with his attorney asking for the minimum sentence of 96 years. He got that, but with another 376 on top.