A 17-year federal prison sentence was handed down for a Ukrainian national who was convicted of sex trafficking two women in 2014 while living in San Diego.
A jury found Sergeyi Bazar, 38, guilty last November of two counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion and one count of coercion and enticement. He was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in San Diego.
Prosecutors said both victims were foreign nationals living in the United States illegally after their visas had expired.
Each woman testified that they responded to an online ad on VKontakte, or VK, a Russian version of Facebook. The ad advertised work as a masseuse in the San Diego area.
One woman traveled from Miami, Florida to work for Bazar; the other was already living in San Diego.
After meeting with the defendant, the women were told that they had to engage in certain sex acts with customers depending on the customer's wishes, according to trial testimony.
Bazar told one victim that he videotaped her while she was working for him and would disclose the videos to all of her friends on VK if she left him, prosecutors said.
Law enforcement was alerted to Bazar's illicit activities after one victim escaped a hotel room in Mission Valley where she was staying and called 911.