“Every day the beatings, the name callings, the shavings of one’s head,” recalled Brehannah Leary of horrific abuse she and many other very young women and girls suffered at the hands of a human trafficker, during his trial. “I can’t begin to even explain what he did to my life.”
Thirty-one-year-old Brock Franklin was subsequently sentenced to an incredible 472 years in prison — purportedly the longest sentence ever levied against a convicted human trafficker — by Colorado’s Arapahoe County Judge Peter Michaelson.
A jury in the same county found Franklin guilty on 30 counts of “operating a prostitution ring that preyed on young girls and women,” according to RT. He was charged with violations of “Colorado’s organized crime control act, charges of pimping a child, human trafficking and sexual assault,” among others, and CBS News reports the man was a designated habitual offender, which triggered sentence enhancers and the remarkably lengthy term.
Eight other women endured the same terrifying episodes at the hands of Franklin and others running the human trafficking operation and underage prostitution ring; though, he received the weightiest prison term of six.
On that point, the judge noted no fatalities had occurred as a direct result of Franklin’s actions, the damage done was severe enough to warrant the likely longest-ever human trafficking term.
Franklin controlled the women he trafficked through violence, intimidation, and narcotics, while enforcing daily quotas and brutalizing them into sex on a regular basis, according to prosecutors during trial. These crimes were committed throughout the Denver metro area in various hotels.
“Well obviously a 400-year sentence sends a strong message across the country that we’re not going to tolerate this kind of violence to women and vulnerable populations,” Janet Drake, a spokesperson for the Colorado Attorney General’s office, told FOX News, adding the message should absolutely extend to those who patronize prostitutes.
Prosecutors originally sought 600 years — while the defense team requested a minimum of 96 years.
“400 years, 500 years it’s a very long time,” Leary, who met and came under the control of Franklin while between jobs, added. “He’s never getting out of prison. It’s closure, but still doesn’t give me what I wanted.”
First acting as a friend for her during that rough period after Leary’s husband kicked her out, she explained he soon turned her into a prostitute, where she remained entrapped until the rescue.
“I’ve got something going for me,” she said. “I’m not just some prostitute.”
“He took so much from me, and I’m still fighting to get it back,” an unnamed victim asserted to the judge during sentencing. “You have no idea the damage he has caused to the other women and myself.”
Of course, Franklin and the others didn’t prey exclusively on adult women.
One juvenile, identified as D.Y., explained to authorities she had been baited with the drug, ecstasy, by Franklin as he groomed her for recruitment — but beatings about the face, blackened eyes, damage to her ears, and serious bodily harm were all a regular occurrence.
“Another juvenile victim, known as C.W., who was recruited by Franklin’s ring for around five weeks between January and February 2015, said the leader required her to perform oral sex acts on him in front of other gang members,” reports Daily Mail.
“Both victims said they were encouraged to advertise themselves for sexual services on classified ad website Backpage.com.”
With everything from sexual indiscretion to pedophilia, sexual assault to the contrary tale of the woman serving life in prison for killing the man who had trafficked her at sixteen years of age dominating headlines in recent weeks, the news a bona fide criminal — guilty of violent and abominable acts — received this possible record-breaking sentence may satisfy some readers.
For the victims, Franklin couldn’t disappear to the dark corners of his waiting prison cell soon enough.
Image: Brock Franklin, FOX 31 Denver