Prosecutors charge Dalton man in sex trafficking case

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ROME, Georgia (WDEF) – Federal prosecutors are charging three men with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking minors for prostitution.

One is 26 year old Hernandez Acosta of Dalton.

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The other suspects are from Stone Mountain and Florida.

The government says they moved minors in Georgia, Florida and Tennessee.

“These men allegedly preyed on vulnerable young girls by sexually exploiting them for quick money,” said U.S. Attorney John A. Horn. “This case highlights the danger that lurks on social media sites, where the defendants allegedly pursued some of the child victims.”

The case tracks at least five girls (16-17 years old) who were coerced to perform sexually throughout North Georgia as well as Florida and Tennessee.

The indictment claims Acosta pursued girls on Facebook, and then posted pictures of them on adult entertainment websites.

“Hernandez Acosta and Alvarez Acosta forced one 16-year-old girl to have sex with the men after driving her from Florida to Georgia to engage in prostitution, and after falsely offering the girl a place to live. Riano often drove this 16-year-old victim to the locations where she engaged in commercial sex acts. Another 16-year-old high school student was driven to a residence in the Atlanta area to have sex with a man for $150, which was paid directly to Hernandez Acosta. The defendants operated a high-volume, low-cost business, requiring the young girls to have sex with multiple men each night and kept nearly all of the money they earned.”

Prosecutors say the case proves that sex trafficking isn’t just a blight in big cities.

And Dalton officials agree.

“We are thankful for the work and success of all involved in this investigation that has ended the elaborate criminal enterprise these predators operated. The scope of their operation is a reminder that sex trafficking is a real danger for the young people in our communities,” said Chief Jason Parker, Dalton Police Department.