A man accused of drugging teenage girls, convincing them to leave home and forcing them into prostitution has been sentenced to more than 16 years behind bars.
Rashad Sanders, 28, pleaded guilty to sex trafficking and transportation of three minors and was sentenced to prison Monday.
The investigation of Sanders began in 2008 when he contacted two girls, ages 16 and 17, on the internet, according to the Department of Justice. Prosecutors said he convinced them to leave Minnesota and travel to Portland.
Investigators said he bought them bus tickets and picked them up at the station when they arrived in Portland. He then gave them fake IDs, helped them obtain cell phones and posted photos of them on Craigslist advertising prostitution.
When they eventually tried to leave, investigators said Sanders punched one of the girls in the head and knocked her down hotel stairs. The second girl ran away and called 911 from a stranger’s house.