MASSAGE PARLOR OWNER SENT TO PRISON FOR CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING
A Salt Lake massage parlor owner was sentenced to five years to life in prison for aggravated human trafficking involving a child. Third District Judge Judith Atherton ordered Luis Daniel Arano-Hernandez, 30, to prison on July 12 and gave him credit for serving 225 days in jail.
“This sentence is very appropriate given what happened to the victims,” says Assistant Attorney General Gregory Ferbrache, the prosecutor for the Utah Attorney General’s SECURE Strike Force. “I agree with Judge Atherton about the defendant’s willingness to dehumanize the child victim and other young women with threats and coercion.”
Arano-Hernandez was arrested last November by the SECURE Strike Force after an eight-month investigation into sex trafficking. Evidence was presented at a preliminary hearing that he coerced a 17-year-old girl and her mother to be prostituted at two Reiki massage parlors.
During the hearing, the child victim testified Arano-Hernandez repeatedly threatened her and her family. “I was really tired of being bullied and mentally tortur[ed],” she said. “I was just tired of him controlling me, making me go to work everyday, not having a normal life like other children did.”
“The SECURE Strike Force is actively investigating and will bring to justice similar perpetrators of children for commercial sex,” adds Ferbrache.
The SECURE Strike Force started in October 2009 to target major crimes by and often against undocumented residents. During the past two years the strike force has investigated 338 cases and arrested 120 people for crimes including human trafficking, identity theft, illegal drugs, guns and other violent crimes.
“We are facing a real challenge looking into the shadowy world of human trafficking,” says Chief Deputy Attorney General Kirk Torgensen. “We are able to use the contacts made by the SECURE Strike Force and the technological expertise of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to bring these horrific crimes to light.”