ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The last defendant in a national sex-trafficking ring was sentenced to 12 years in prison Thursday.
Sophia Navas was sentenced in Washington County District Court for her role in the operation, which trafficked Chinese women for prostitution. The ring was based out of Irvine, California, but several Minnesota-based branches were discovered.
Advertisements for sexual services were placed on Backpage.com and tied to Minnesota cities including Oakdale, Cottage Grove, St. Paul and Blaine, among others.
“This brings to a close a significant joint effort between the Ramsey and Washington County Attorney’s Offices to curtail the trafficking of human beings in our region,” said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. “The victims in this case were especially vulnerable, as they were trapped in a foreign country where they barely spoke the language and sold for sex. More needs to be done in our community to stop the demand which drives all of this. We can all start by thinking about how we raise boys and for men to be involved in the solution.”
Three other individuals were also charged, convicted and sentenced in connection with the case.
In addition to serving time in prison, Navas will also pay a fine of $7500 as well as a $1,000 prostitution assessment.