Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Sally Quillian Yates announced 17 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release of Marcelo Alejo Desautu for sex trafficking of a child. On Jan 10th 2012 he pleaded guilty to the charge.
Assistant Attorney General Breuer said, “Mr. Desautu gave drugs and alcohol to a 12-year-old girl and then prostituted her to adult men. He will now appropriately, spend the next 17 years of his life paying for his horrific crimes. While no prison sentence can repair the harm caused by such appalling conduct, today’s sentence sends a strong message that we will pursue child sex traffickers to the fullest extent of the law.”
Also U.S. Attorney Yates said, “This defendant earned a substantial sentence in federal prison when he drugged and sexually exploited a 12-year-old girl, forever altering the course of her life. It is unfathomable that there is even a market for the sale of such a young child for sex. This lengthy sentence should deter others who would consider engaging in similar heinous acts.”
From December 2007 to December 2008, Desautu agreed to care for a 12 year old girl as per the court documents and proceedings. Instead of providing responsible care for the child, Desautu gave the girl alcohol and drugs. He made her engage in sex acts with adult males for money. He used that money to buy drugs for the girl and himself. Gwinnett County businessman Peter Privateer was one of the men who paid to have sex with the minor. He has entered a guilty plea in Cobb County after he was charged in both Cobb and Gwinnett Counties, in Georgia.
The FBI and the Cobb County Police Department investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Steinberg of the Northern District of Georgia and Trial Attorney Andrew McCormack of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) prosecuted this case in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
The Department of Justice launched a nationwide initiative in May 2006 to fight this growing abuse and child sexual exploitation through Project Safe Childhood. This case was brought as a part of this project. In order to identify and rescue victims as well as to apprehend and prosecute the ones who exploit children. The project was led by Project Safe Childhood, federal marshals, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS. For more information on Project Safe Childhood visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
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