Man gets 27 years in prison for international sex trafficking

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Damion Baston

Damion Baston

Damion St. Patrick Baston was sentenced to 27 years in prison on charges of international sex trafficking.

Miami U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga said the 27-year-old has a “deviant” and “delusional” personality with a “warped sense of reality,” reports The Miami Herald.

Baston, who was charged with sex trafficking this summer, took the stand to defend himself. The judge said she didn’t believe he was telling the truth and that she didn’t detect any sense of guilt or remorse after he was convicted by the jury.

The judge avoided giving Baston a life sentence because he did not kill anyone. At least six women testified agains Baston, alleging he repeatedly abused them and forced them into sex trades in Australia, Dubai and Miami.

During his June trial, Baston claimed that he is “not a pimp” and that he didn’t “even know what sex trafficking is.”

However, the jury found Baston guilty of 21 counts of sex trafficking, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.

When addressing the videos presented in trial, he said there is no evidence of abuse: “None of those girls had any bruises or marks. Everybody in those videos is happy, well and alive.”

At Monday’s hearing, one of the prosecutors read the letters Baston’s ex-wife and another Australian woman wrote.

“He forced me to work in prostitution,” his former wife wrote. “I say forced because he threatened to kill me and my family.”

Another Australian woman wrote: “I was his personal slave. He is a predator, a manipulator and a sadistic con man.”

After meeting Baston on the internet, an American woman that said she was forced into working for him. As she recently gave birth to Baston’s baby girl, who was kept outside the courtroom, she addressed the man from the witness stand, saying: “I have a rhetorical question for you: Would you do what you did to me with your own daughter?”

U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said law enforcement agencies from USA, United Arab Emirates and Australia all collaborated in this case that brought the fist U.S. prosecution under a 2008 law meant to address international sex trafficking.