Antonio Alvarez, 44, of Visalia, was arrested in August after authorities busted the ring that snared 13 women and girls, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office said.
Last month, Alvarez pleaded no contest to human trafficking of an adult using fear, force and coercion, and six counts of human trafficking of a minor.
He also pleaded no contest to oral copulation with a person under 18, a lewd act on child, two counts of oral copulation of a person under 16, pimping, and one violent count of sexual penetration with a foreign object.
Prosecutors said Alvarez set up a Facebook page pretending to be “Rebecca Rodriguez,” a prostitute living a glamorous life. The persona was used to lure girls and women into sending naked photos, then he had them meet with “the boss” – himself – for an interview to get hired and perform sexual acts.
Two other men were also sentenced Wednesday
Anthony Raya, 19, of Dinuba, was sentenced to three years in prison for pimping, and Joel Mancini, 40, of Visalia, was sentenced to a year in jail for being an accessory after the fact and unlawful sex with a minor.
Prosecutors said it appears that Raya never met Alvarez or Mancini but gave rides to adult victims after making contact over social media with “Rebecca.”
At the sentencing, one of the minor victims, identified only by her initials, gave a statement read by prosecutor Cindy Underwood.
“After what happened, it got hard for me to trust people or even talk to people socially,” her statement said. “I feel like I can’t be comfortable in my own skin, like I’m ashamed or something.”
Alvarez apologized to the victims and to his wife and family in a statement read by his attorney.
Three years ago, local officials launched the Coalition Against Human Trafficking.
“Today’s sentencing is a reminder how far we’ve come as a county is terms of awareness and action,” District Attorney Tim Ward said in a statement.
In an unrelated sex trafficking of minors case, two people were sentenced last year to prison, the District Attorney’s Office said. The office is currently prosecuting 10 people in seven sex trafficking cases.