OXFORD, MS (WDAM) - A Hattiesburg man could spend the rest of his life behind bars after a jury found him guilty Wednesday of human trafficking and transporting a minor across state lines to engage in prostitution.
According to U.S. Attorney William Lamar, Raymorris Asencio, 31, will serve no fewer than 10 years in prison for the crimes. He's also facing fines up to $250,000.
During the trial, the jury heard testimony from the victim Asencio transported across state lines to have sex for money.
The girl was just 16-years-old when Asencio used online ads to advertise her for sex in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, according to previous testimony from an agent with the FBI.
The jury also heard from the concerned citizens who originally reported the case to authorities in Oxford.
The agent said a woman became suspicious after seeing Asencio with the girl in a nail salon and later found out the teen was reported missing from the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Lamar said the victim was rescued from a hotel in Baton Rouge, LA in February 2017. Asencio was arrested in Hattiesburg on Feb. 15, 2017.
"We must protect our children from predators like Asencio," said Lamar. "I want to thank the private citizens in Oxford who noticed the minor and Asencio and notified the Oxford Police Department of their concerns for the minor's safety."
"It is nearly unthinkable that trafficking a minor for prostitution still happens in Mississippi, but the jury in this case agreed that the charges against Asencio were warranted," said Christopher Freeze, Special Agent in Charge with the FBI.