- Associated Press - Sunday, February 1, 2015

MIAMI (AP) - A Mexican man has been sentenced to 15 years in U.S. prison for his role in a sex trafficking ring that involved girls as young as 14.

A Miami federal judge last week imposed the sentence on 46-year-old Rafael Alberto Cadena-Sosa. Prosecutors say he and others promised legitimate U.S. jobs to girls in Veracruz, Mexico, and then forced them into prostitution. The girls worked 12 hours a day, six days a week, and were frequently beaten and raped.

Cadena-Sosa is among 16 people charged in the case, almost all members of the same family. Another suspect, 48-year-old Carmen Cadena, pleaded guilty last week to several trafficking-related charges and faces up to five years behind bars.

Since 2009, U.S. efforts to tackle Mexican sex trafficking has resulted in over 50 convictions.

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