Brock Franklin was sentenced to 472 years in prison for running a child prostitution ring. The sentence, handed down by Arapahoe County Judge Peter Michaelson, is the longest prison sentence in United States history in a human trafficking case.
“This is not a minimum sentence type of case,” said Janet Drake, who is with the attorney general’s office. She initially requested the judge sentence Franklin to 616 years in prison.
Franklin was indicted in 2015 for allegedly using drugs and violence to manipulate and prey on young girls and women, typically forcing them into performing sex acts as part of his prostitution ring.
A jury in March found the 31-year-old guilty on 30 counts, including sexual exploitation of a child, child prostitution, pimping and kidnapping.
During his trial, the packed courtroom listened as eight of Brock’s nine victims shared their experiences, some of them still suffering PTSD, according to the news station.
“I miss myself, my confidence, my laugh. I miss my happiness,” one victim said, of the three “long months” she spent with Franklin in 2015.
“The tough ones are us women. The prison time he will serve does not compare to the damage he has caused to these women or myself.”
Another victim in a letter read by prosecutors said: “Every morning I wake up I have to remind myself the defendant will no longer be able to hurt me.
“I began to doubt myself, thinking everything the defendant had told me was true. I am a mother and a soon-to-be wife and I am not all the defendant said I was or to be become.”
Franklin’s legal team requested the minimum sentence — 96 years in prison — arguing that Franklin was not charged with any violent crimes.
A detective with the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s office, who described the case as “emotional” and hard,” pushed back against such claims.
“We must send other predators out there a clear message that our children and our women are not for sale,” she said.
At the end of the sentencing, Michaelson spoke directly to Franklin.
“Franklin, make the most of your life, he said. “Perhaps you can do some good for people who have done bad.”
Four others have already been sentenced for their roles in the trafficking ring.
Talk about sending a message! Still, we can’t help but wonder if Brock would have received the same sentencing had he been a white man. Probably not.