The last three defendants in what federal prosecutors called the single biggest domestic sex trafficking ring in the Southern District of Texas have pleaded guilty to forcing women and minors into prostitution.
John Butler, 52, Jamine Lake, 30, and Ronnie Presley, 38, face between five and 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 for their role in a criminal enterprise that stretched to four other states, according to a press release from the Texas Attorney General's Office.
"The women were routinely beaten and threatened to instill fear in them and insure their obedience," according to the press release. "Some of the co-conspirators also had sexual intercourse with the minor females. Any proceeds the women received as a result of their sexual encounters [were] taken by the members of the enterprise, rendering them dependent upon the defendants for basic necessities."
Two men and one woman, all of Houston, previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the enterprise, which was brought down by a FBI agents and Houston police, as part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative.
The press release also states that "the defendants operated commercialized sex businesses often disguised as modeling studios, health spas, massage parlors, and bikini bars in Houston. Further testimony proved they also utilized sexually oriented publications and websites to advertise their illicit business."
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The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri Zack and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela Goodwin, an assistant Texas attorney general.