A Texas father forced his 16-year-old daughter to offer truck drivers sex for money after he learned she was sexually active, PEOPLE confirms.
On Monday, the man pleaded guilty to aggravated compelling of prostitution and later that same day was sentenced to 30 years in prison, a Harris County court official confirms. (To keep the victim’s identity anonymous, PEOPLE is not running her father’s name.)
The Baytown man was arrested in June 2015, after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received an anonymous call that a father was “pimping” his daughter, a statement released by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office states.
According to JoAnne Musick, Sex Crimes Division Chief of the DA’s office, the 16-year-old told investigators in 2014 she was forced into prostitution by her father after he learned she had had sex with a peer.
“He basically told her, ‘Well, if this is how you’re going to act, we might as well make money off of it,’ ” Musick says.
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Several nights a week, the girl was forced by her father to knock on the doors of parked tractor-trailer rigs at truck stops and offer sex for money, according to the statement.
“When that turned out to be lucrative, he upped the ante and placed her on Backpage and got her into more of the sex industry by posting photos and setting up dates,” Musick says.
The father’s online posts described his daughter as “sexy and sweet”, “super clean” and the “perfect girl” who wanted to “party,” ABC7 reports.
“It’s sad and horrific,” Musick says of the crime, adding that the girl’s mother had passed away and that the money made from the crime went towards the family’s living expenses.
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The 46-year-old father has remained behind bars since his arrest in June, Musick says.
Musick adds that prosecutors were happy with the plea deal because it wouldn’t force the victim to testify.
“I think [his sentence] is fair,” Musick says. “I think it sends a message that this type of exploitation would be prosecuted to the fullest extent. However, we wanted to avoid having to put the victim through that again and so, thinking about her and her welfare, we decided to make a deal to avoid her testifying.”
The victim is currently living with distant relatives, Musick says.