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November 27, 2017

Record sex-trafficking sentence, 472 years of imprisonment, imposed in Colorado court

This local article, headlined "‘The tough ones are us women:' Colorado pimp gets 472 year sentence," report on a sentencing in Colorado that seems to be record-setting. Here are the details:

A man convicted of sexually exploiting women as a pimp will spend the rest of his life – and then some – in prison. In a sentencing hearing [last] Tuesday afternoon, Arapahoe County Judge Peter F. Michaelson sentenced the man found guilty of running a child prostitution ring to 472 years in prison. That is more than four times the minimum required sentence - and the largest sentence brought down for a human trafficking case in the country.

Brock Franklin was indicted in 2015 by a grand jury for allegedly using drugs and violence to control young girls, often forcing them into lewd acts as part of a child sex trafficking ring. Four others have already been sentenced for their involvement in the human trafficking ring.

Prosecutors said Franklin preyed on young women and girls who were vulnerable. In his trial, a jury heard from eight of the nine victims in the case. “Damage isn’t lessened because of where someone came from or where someone did not come from,” an attorney for the Arapahoe County District Attorney’s Office said in court Tuesday.

In a packed courtroom Tuesday afternoon, prosecutors read two letters from Franklin’s victims. “Every morning I wake up I have to remind myself the defendant will no longer be able to hurt me,” the first letter began. The victim, identified only as “DY,” wrote to the court about the PTSD, anxiety, and depression she suffers because of Franklin’s actions....

In March of this year, Franklin went on trial for 34 counts 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. He was acquitted of several charges including distributing marijuana and assault with a deadly weapon....

The minimum sentence would have been 96 years in prison, which is what Franklin’s defense team requested, reminding the judge Franklin had not been convicted of any violent crimes. Janet Drake, with 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.

Franklin’s defense team argued a 616 year sentence would not be appropriate. His attorneys 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. The defense also said Franklin’s troubled past, including being homeless at age five, should be considered in his sentencing.

I am not sure what I find more remarkable, the fact that the judge here imposed a sentence of nearly half a millennium or the fact that this sentence of 472 years was a full 144 years less than the term requested by prosecutors.

November 27, 2017 at 09:13 PM | Permalink

Comments

Pimps should get a lot more punishment generally, particularly those who traffic in minors.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 28, 2017 7:20:07 AM

Should the guy be punished - absolutely, even though lawmakers and the courts have bastardized the term "sex trafficking" so that a sole prostitute's beneficiary, such as her child, would fall into most legal definitions of it. A sentence of 400+ years shows how out of touch our "Justus" system is with any meaningful reality.

Maybe we should abolish it (our laws and courts) and start over.

Posted by: albeed | Nov 28, 2017 8:13:15 AM

It's absurd of course. Not that the defendant should be severely punished and incarcerated or life but that the law would even contemplate a sentence that is so grossly disproportionate to the life expectancy of any person.

It makes the law look foolish. A joke. A process not to be taken seriously by any reasonable person.

Posted by: justme | Nov 28, 2017 9:18:00 AM

I've long argued that the law needs a general escape for cases like this that any guideline calculated sentence of more than say 75 years automatically gets translated into natural life without parole. I agree both with the statement that the sentence as handed down makes the court look foolish but also with the statement that any sentence that would allow this offender to leave prison alive is insufficient.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Nov 28, 2017 11:43:52 AM

That is true Soronel. Anyone with a brain cell or two knows this sentence is nothing but wasteful and useless showboating. Just like any other follow up criminal prosecutions would be. He's got a life sentence. Any other court actions would be showboating and a major waste of money or as the old saying goes "beating a dead horse" useless

Posted by: Rodsmith3510 | Nov 28, 2017 12:34:02 PM

Let me call BS not just on the showboating. How I feel about this case depends on the actual age of the "minors". If this child sex ring was a group of ten year olds that is one thing. But if it was a group of 17 year olds I feel very differently about the sentence. I read the article and it never mentioned their ages that makes me very suspicious. One problem with this type of sentence is that what will a court do with an actual sex ring involving ten years olds? A two million year sentence?

Posted by: Daniel | Nov 28, 2017 1:23:55 PM

Daniel:

That is a great point but immaterial to the "law" (heads bowed please, and asses up). I do not know the ages of those "trafficked" (my how the meaning of words has changed, just like the word predator, i.e., WJC, GHWB, BC., JW, etc.), but you can bet if any were under 12 years old, the prosecution and the government would have been beating the drums so loud that every News Organization in the world would announce it.

Posted by: albeed | Nov 28, 2017 5:02:29 PM

Keep in mind that an offender has been sentenced for 200 years for 20 child pornography images, no possibility of parole. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morton_Berger

Posted by: Eric Knight | Nov 28, 2017 6:16:20 PM

Daniel, this case was very clearly 17 year olds, 16 minimum. How do I know? Because none of the charging documents or news stories mentioned their ages. Since lower ages are aggravating, if they were lower, they would have been mentioned.

This is just a simple pimping case where 2-3 of the guy's hoes were a little underage. The case was blown up and misrepresented to be some kind of ridiculous operation when it was just simple pimping.

Posted by: lawguy | Nov 29, 2017 1:09:13 PM

Gee, ain't gubermint language great. In my day and age, if this guy was female, they would've been known as "Madam".

Gotta make those AUSDAs and federal judges look like they are doing something grand, while we all become more stupid.

Posted by: albeed | Nov 29, 2017 5:08:59 PM

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