A 30-year-old Atlanta man was sentenced to life in prison Monday after being convicted of charges related to sexually abusing and pimping a teenage runaway, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office announced and the AJC reported.
A jury found David Pepe guilty of trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, pimping, aggravated child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Pepe sexually abused a 14-year-old who he forced into prostitution within three days of meeting her in April 2009, prosecutors said. The defendant had sex with the teen, took her to pick up customers, took half of the money they paid her and later said he deserved all the money, according to information presented in court.
Text messages that the teen sent to her mother were forwarded to law enforcement authorities, who returned the teen to her family. Pepe was caught during a traffic stop in Cobb County.
The case was the first to be prosecuted by the District Attorney’s human trafficking unit, which was funded by a 2011 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, authorities said.