Man who pimped minor to serve 17 to 34 years

Posted: July 03, 2014

CONVICTED sex trafficker Robert Spence will spend more years in prison than his teenage victim had been alive when he lured her and pimped her for cash, a Philadelphia judge ruled yesterday.

After denying a motion to delay the sentencing in Spence's case, which dragged on for five years after his 2009 arrest, Judge Robert P. Coleman slapped the 46-year-old pimp with a sentence of 17 to 34 years for crimes including human trafficking, sexual exploitation of children and promoting prostitution of a minor.

Spence was convicted at trial earlier this year. Coleman also ordered that he register as a tier-three sex offender - the most serious classification - under Megan's Law.

Spence met his young victim in 2008, when she was 15 years old and living on the street after running away from home, according to Assistant District Attorney Rochelle Keyhan, who prosecuted the case. He lured the girl into his operation, threatening to kill her if she left or reported his misdeeds, and forced her to have sex with men for $150 per trick and give him all of the profit, she said.

In sentencing Spence for his crimes, Coleman said he didn't believe the defendant's claim that he was unaware of his victim's age, citing a letter Spence had written from jail acknowledging the girl's young age and giving someone outside instructions on how to run his sex-trafficking business in his absence.

Defense attorney Rania Major-Trunfio requested a sentence of 30 months, with credit for time served, arguing that Spence's victim had "misled" him.

"This girl didn't come here with clean hands," Major-Trunfio argued. "This girl needs to take a role."

Coleman didn't see it that way.

"She is so young, I'm not even buying your argument," he said. "My blood just boils."

Turning to Spence, he added, "Clearly, you're accepting no responsibility for what you were doing. You scare me."

In Spence's jailhouse letter, he wrote of his victims: "The little bitches, it's two of them, they was some nice joints, to [sic]. That's why I was making so much with them when I was charging $150 a piece. But they don't really want no money they was just trying to f--- all day every day," according to Keyhan's sentencing memo to the judge.

She called Spence's actions "horrifying."

"The flippant way he describes finding 'his bs,' already forgotten, in the shadows of society, like runaway minor children . . . shows he is the very form of predator most dangerous in our society," Keyhan wrote in the memo.


On Twitter: @morganzalot

Blog: PhillyConfidential.com

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