A 26-year-old man convicted of using coercion and violence to force a teenage girl into prostitution was sentenced today to 20 years in federal prison.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Bryan said Juan Alexander Vianez engaged in the “slavery of others” and called him “extremely likely to re-offend” in handing down a sentence nearly twice that suggested by U.S. sentencing guidelines, the U.S. Attorney’s Office reported in a press release.
A federal jury last year convicted Vianez – known to reside in Lakewood and Las Vegas – of sex trafficking, interstate transportation of a minor in furtherance of prostitution, interstate transportation in furtherance of prostitution and witness tampering.
Federal authorities argued he met the victim just after she turned 17, convinced her to enter into a sexual relationship with him then forced her into prostitution through threats and beatings.
The victim was hospitalized after one of the most severe beatings in Pierce County in 2007, the news release states.
Prosecutors said Vianez used money the victim earned to fund an extravagant lifestyle that included luxury cars, Hawaiin vacations and stays in high-end hotels and condominiums.
Bryan also ordered Vianez to pay $1.3 million in restitution to the victim. Prosecutors based that amount on the value of the victim’s labor and the money Vianez collected from her over a four-year period.
Vianez’s lawyer, Roger Hunko, asked for a sentence of five years.
“Mr. Vianez is a young man without much life experience,” Hunko wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “I would suggest to the court that he has been influenced by the culture of Rap and its exploitive tendencies, as has (the victim).”
Hunko called the restitution amount “outrageous.”