Two Alabama men were each sentenced to over 16 years in prison after they were found guilty of trafficking a child for sex.
The two men, Michael Graham Lowe, 25, and David Rose, 30, were trafficking the child from a motel in Montgomery, Alabama, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
They would advertise the child on Backpage.com, then arrange meetings for the child to engage in commercial sex acts while they stood watch outside of the motel room.
In some cases the child was transported to another location to perform the sex acts.
Lowe and Rose used the profits made to purchase illegal narcotics.
“There is no place in our community for those who prey on children,” said U.S. Attorney Louis Franklin in a statement. “I hope that these lengthy sentences send a clear message that exploiting and prostituting a child will not be tolerated.”
President Donald Trump has made the ending and prosecution of the sexual abuse of children a key priority of his administration. In April, he signed a bill making it easier for law enforcement and victims to fight sex trafficking.
In the same month, the DOJ seized the website Backpage.com, which it described as “the internet’s leading forum for prostitution ads, including ads depicting the prostitution of children.”
Seven individuals were charged in a 93-count federal indictment in connection to the seizure of Backpage.com.
“For far too long, Backpage.com existed as the dominant marketplace for illicit commercial sex, a place where sex traffickers frequently advertised children and adults alike,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at the time.
“But this illegality stops right now. Last Friday, the Department of Justice seized Backpage, and it can no longer be used by criminals to promote and facilitate human trafficking.”
According to the International Labor Organization, an estimated 4.8 million people worldwide—1 million of whom are children—are being sexually exploited.