HOUSTON (KTRK) --A judge sentenced 23-year-old Mark Anthony Inestroza to 35 years behind bars for compelling prostitution of a minor.
Prosecutors said Inestroza was selling a 16-year-old girl for sex on the website backpage.com. They said the girl wanted to leave but was afraid.
"The evidence presented to the court as you heard in the closing argument was a list of sales of a number of individuals, specifically 105 days where this defendant had sold people," prosecutor Ann Johnson said. "He is a pimp, prides himself in being a pimp, put his name on social media as being a pimp."
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Harris County victims' advocate Kathy Griffin was in the courtroom as two victims testified against Inestroza.
"You heard today that the girls used their IDs to get the hotel rooms, that they're not allowed to keep their identification, they only see them when they have to rent the rooms," Griffin said. "Their dignities, their personalities have been stricken from them, all in the name of what they hope to be love and finding their prince charming."
One woman who took the stand said she witnessed Inestroza choking another woman and that he threatened her as well.
"He grabbed me, grabbed handcuffs, handcuffed me to the toilet pipe. I was terrified," the woman testified. "I prayed, cried, tried to make noise so maybe someone would hear me."
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She said hours later, she eventually escaped.
Inestroza was also charged in College Station with kidnapping and assaulting the mother of his child. A police detective testified the woman was bruised, bloody and could barely breathe.
Inestroza's attorney, Maverick Ray, said his client had a rough childhood.
"He was a fine, good student in school, but ultimately, losing both of his parents, losing that supervision, kind of led him to a dark place and also with the wrong people," Ray said.
Inestroza will spend up to 35 years behind bars.