Victim speaks out after six sentenced for trafficking - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Victim speaks out after six sentenced for trafficking

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Six people are behind bars after two long days of sentencing for sex trafficking women.

Federal court Judge B. Avant Edenfield sentenced: Claudio Sanchez Calderon to 15 years, Neurby Celenia Diaz to 6 years, Jorge Lira Xochicale to 5.5 years, Joaquin Mendez-Hernandez to life, Mayer Sanchez Calderon to 15 years and Juan Carlos Pena to 20 years

All of them admitted to participating in the conspiracy but the sentencing took so long because some of them had objections to the evidence.

Investigators say they believe this prostitution ring was going on for nearly four years until the conspirators were caught a year ago.

Even though these six people have been brought to justice, investigators say there are other conspirators out there who are continuing to force women into prostitution.

"They look at women like commodities, not as individuals," said Special Agent in Charge Brock Nicholson. "They trade them like kids trade baseball cards."

Most of the women were smuggled in from Mexico and other countries. They think they are coming to the United States for a better life and then forced to have sex for money.

WTOC sat down with one victim who wanted to remain anonymous but said she is relieved that she can now move on with her life.

"I feel very well. I'm not frustrated any more, I feel very safe," said the victim.  

She is just one of several victims who testified against the conspirators who smuggled women into the United States and forced them in to prostitution.

 "I wanted everyone to know that use force, they use threats and they use psychological threats," said the victim.

Investigators said some of the women were forced to perform nearly 50 times a day and if they didn't, they would not be allowed to eat or sleep. Many of them were afraid to go to the police because their pimps would threaten to deport them or harm their children.

Even though this woman, like several others, has been able to escape this life, she has a message for all the other woman who may still be out there.

"Do not fall into their traps, do not believe their lies. There is justice here in the United States," said the victim.  

Investigators believe there are other suspects out there related to this case, if you have any information, call police.

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