SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man who sexually trafficked a 15-year-old girl in the San Diego area was sentenced today to 15 years in federal custody. Joseph Price, 24, of San Diego, convinced the victim to post an online advertisement offering sex and drove her to meet with customers throughout San Diego County, according to court documents.
The complaint filed last year states that the girl took part in the commercial sex acts on nearly a dozen occasions last summer and all of the money she earned went to Price. She also told investigators that on one occasion, when she did not want to engage in certain sex acts that the customer -- or ``john'' -- requested, Price struck her in the face.
Price was arrested last August by San Diego police in connection with a parole violation stemming from a first-degree burglary conviction. He was later charged with sex trafficking of a minor by federal prosecutors and pleaded guilty last December.
As part of his plea, Price also admitted to meeting two other underage girls over social media and encouraging them to take part in sex acts for money. The U.S. Attorney's Office said one of the girls did so and sent the money she made to Price, who encouraged both girls to leave their families in Texas and travel to San Diego to continue working for him.
``Sex trafficking of teenagers targets some of the most vulnerable individuals in our community, and leaves in its wake trauma that can affect victims for the rest of their lives,'' said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. ``The U.S. Attorney's Office is deeply committed to ensuring that justice is done for the victims of these horrible crimes.''