ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA)-- A Fairfax man with ties to the notorious MS-13 street gang was sentenced by a federal judge to 24 years in prison for luring teenage girls from the Northern Virginia area into the horrific world of child prostitution.
The case of Alonso Bruno Cornejo Ormeno is one of five gang-related sex trafficking cases brought to justice in recent months. His case and another last week, in which a gang member was sentenced to life in prison for prostituting a 12-year-old girl, have shed new light on a dark issue.
"These young girls were forced to have sex in the back of gas stations, at construction sites, at sleazy motels across the area," said Neil MacBride, the U.S. Attorney for Eastern District of Virginia.
In Northern Virginia motel rooms, in Falls Church, Woodbridge and Alexandria, girls as young as 12 years old were losing their innocence in a most horrific way, shopped around as sex slaves in 7-Eleven parking lots.
"They were told to be lively and to pretend they were enjoying these unspeakable acts," said MacBride.
Men preyed on the vulnerability of the girls, most of them runaways, and plied them with drugs and alcohol.
"The damage that can be done to a young person is both physical and psychological and can take years to overcome," said John Torres, ICE Special Agent in Charge.
Cornejo Ormeno was not an MS-13 member, but an associate, who offered the girls free of charge to full-fledged gang members to improve his own standing.
"Gangs prey on the weak and take advantage of victims. So anything that a gang member can do to raise a dollar, they're going to do because they're predatory in nature," said Joshua Skule of the FBI's Washington Field Office.
Some of the local ringleaders are now behind bars, but it may be their young victims who are getting a life sentence of despair.
Gang-related child sex trafficking is on the rise and federal law enforcement is focused first on prosecuting the ring leaders and taking care of the young girls who have been preyed upon.
In fact, they would like any victims to come forward, regardless of their immigration status. There's also a national hotline number for sex trafficking victims: 1-888-3737888.
Written by Andrea McCarren
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