ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Seven members and associates of the MS-13 street gang have been convicted of sex trafficking in federal court after taking in a 13-year-old runaway and coercing her into commercial sex acts in Maryland and Virginia.
The seven defendants all face a mandatory minimum prison term of 15 years when they are sentenced in November.
The U.S. Attorney's Officer for the Eastern District of Virginia, which prosecuted the case, announced the jury verdict Friday,
According to an FBI affidavit, the girl ran away from a youth home in Fairfax in 2018. She was sex trafficked for nearly two months in that year before she was recovered by the bureau's Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking task force. The trafficking occurred in Woodridge, Virginia, and Mount Rainier, Maryland.
She was also beaten on two separate occasions 26 times on her backside with a baseball bat — once when she was initiated into the gang and once when she was accused of stealing from another gang member.
The seven defendants — six men and a woman — lived in suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia and ranged in age from 22 to 50.