Making 15 to 17 year-olds wear loads of make-up and lie about their age on internet sex ads. Check. “Trying out” his girls before sending them out to clients and flashing a handgun if they resisted. Check. Asking girls to recruit other girls into the prostitution ring. Check. Trying to murder a federal witness. Check.
Brandon Thompson of Tea City, South Dakota, just received a life sentence for sex trafficking. Though stating “I’m okay” after hearing the verdict, Thompson was surprised that he would get such a harsh sentence.
As the judge aptly pointed out, the 10 under aged victims received their own “life sentences.” They will have to deal with the trauma that happened to them at the hands of Thompson for the rest of their lives. To have the man that sold their bodies back in society after a few years in jail would be a slap in the face.
Fortunately this is not the case. There is no parole in the federal prison system. In an attempt to woo the judge, Thompson claimed that he wanted to start a nonprofit group to help victims of sex trafficking and help troubled teens. Judge Shcreier did not fall for this however, saying that in her 12 years as a judge she had never seen a case so disturbing.
One of the victims had a baby with Thompson, and through her tears said this:
“I have a lot to look forward to in my life, but I’m not looking forward to telling my son that his father is a sick, disgusting man who trafficked in women.”
I am grateful that for once a judge was willing to look at the horrifying facts and make a decision accordingly. This is refreshing in light of decisions like the some in Canada, with traffickers like Imani Nakpangi receiving 5 years and Jacques Leonard-St. Vil getting a two-for-one credit for pretrial custody, allowing him to spend only one day in jail upon conviction. A poor precedent has been set in our country.
I personally am of the opinion that we need to make sexual exploitation less profitable for traffickers. Money makes the business worth it. If you’re a dude and you think the girls advertised on the internet are pleased as punch to serve your sexual urges, I would recommend listening to the stories of some victims. Thanks to Judge Schreier, the ones exploited by Thompson can now start rebuilding their lives.
Here are some news articles on the Thompson story:
- Tea Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Underage Sex Trafficking by Krystle Kacner
- Leader of sex ring gets life in prison by John Hult