2 Males Sentenced in Intercourse-Trafficking Ring That Preyed on Teenage Ladies

What prosecutors known as the Melendez-Rojas Group is predicated in Tenancingo, a city in Mexico that has grow to be infamous for intercourse trafficking, in keeping with legal professionals concerned within the case. A lawyer for Delia mentioned after the sentencing that her consumer had been the sufferer of “an especially well-established observe” of family-run networks whose members seduce, manipulate and site visitors women for sexual abuse.

“It’s a household enterprise,” mentioned the lawyer, Lori Cohen. “It’s actually constructed into the financial material of this city.” The pipeline to Queens was additionally well-established, she mentioned.

In court docket, Mr. Gold referred to a “joint state of victimhood,” noting that Mr. Melendez-Perez was solely 16 years previous when he was pushed into the enterprise by his uncles.

By means of a translator, Mr. Melendez-Perez informed the choose that he had been immature and ignorant, and that he had been “used” by his older relations. “I had no thought of the magnitude of what I used to be concerned in,” he mentioned. After he and Delia “separated,” he mentioned, he stopped working as a trafficker.

Delia then rose from a courtroom bench to deal with the court docket. In a voice that at instances quavered, she described her upbringing in poverty and violence, how Mr. Melendez-Perez had gained her over with guarantees of affection and marriage, and the disgrace and ache she endured for 4 and a half years whereas she was pressured to work as a prostitute. She noticed as much as 50 males a day, asking $35 for every encounter, in New York and surrounding states.

When she was 17 years previous, Delia mentioned, she went to the police — her lawyer mentioned she spoke with an officer in Queens. With out wanting throughout the courtroom at her former boyfriend, she corrected Mr. Melendez-Perez’s assertion: “We by no means separated, as a result of I escaped.”

Decide Ross acknowledge the affect of Mr. Melendez-Perez’s older relations however mentioned he was “not a baby” when he abused Delia.

The federal government had sought 35-year jail phrases for Mr. Melendez-Perez and for Mr. Romero-Melendez, whose lawyer additionally cited the backdrop of poverty and violence in Mexico as context for his consumer’s acts. 2 Males Sentenced in Intercourse-Trafficking Ring That Preyed on Teenage Ladies

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