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“The last of three men charged with trafficking, prostituting and sexually abusing two teenage girls was convicted by a Fulton County jury and sentenced to life without parole on Thursday, February 27…..”
Read this article from YouthSpark!, one of the most-effective advocacy organizations in Atlanta. (Get on their email list… http://www.youth-spark.org)
Remember! Similar stories will be told in the “Facing Sex Trafficking of Children in Atlanta” free theatrical performance at UUCA on Thursday, March 6, at 7 PM.
Join us for a compelling performance of the stories you’ve never heard…until now. Theater, mime, dance and song… Atlanta artists use their voices to tell true stories of girls who have been victims of sex trafficking in our city.
The event was developed by an Atlanta group and is supported by UUCA’s Promise the Children advocacy and action group.
Pimps and “Johns” Sentenced in Atlanta This Week
Atlanta- The last of three men charged with trafficking, prostituting and sexually abusing two teenage girls has been convicted by a Fulton County jury. Jurors returned guilty verdicts Thursday against 34-year-old Derek Spencer on charges of Human Trafficking, Statutory Rape, Aggravated Child Molestation, Pimping, Pandering, Sexual Exploitation of Children and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor in connection with the case.
The charges against Spencer date back to October 2012. The defendant approached the victims, 14-year-old runaway girls, as they were walking away from a Southwest Atlanta convenience store. Spencer offered the teens a place to stay in his Fletcher Street home. Soon after, Spencer and 33-year-old Kynne Shuler, his previously convicted co-defendant, began supplying the victims with drugs and alcohol and arranging paid ‘dates’ with various men either at the defendant’s house or a local hotel. The victims were forced to turn over their money in exchange for clothes, food and personal hygiene products. When they were not being forced to service ‘clients,’ Spencer also took turns having sex with each girl.
Spencer and co-defendant Shuler were arrested on October 20, 2012 inside an Old National Highway hotel following an anonymous tip that underage females were involved in suspicious activity inside one of the rooms. Police rescued the victims from the hotel bathtub where they were hiding.
Following his conviction, Spencer was sentenced to life without parole by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter who presided over the case. Co-defendant Kynne Shuler, who entered a guilty plea prior to trial, was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
A third defendant, Hossein Sharifi, the ‘John’ who paid to have sex with the victims, also pleaded guilty to Human Trafficking charges in connection with the case. His plea is significant because he is believed to be the first ‘John’ convicted of Human Trafficking in the State of Georgia. Sharifi was sentenced to five years in prison and an additional five years on probation.
The case was prosecuted by the Human Trafficking Unit led by ADA Camilla Wright with assistance from DA Investigator Amanda Pritchett. The DA’s Office also worked closely with Special Agent Joe Fonseca, head of the FBI’s MATCH Task Force to identify Defendant Sharifi and bring him to justice.