April 11, 2018, Orlando, FL
An Orange County judge handed down a sentence of 10 years plus 10 more of probation to Karla Alsina today in downtown Orlando.
In August 2016, authorities were alerted to a possible human trafficking situation when a 14-year-old died from an overdose at an Orlando hospital. After further investigation, detectives found that the girl and her 15-year-old sister were being trafficked for sex. “They gave the drugs to the girls in order for them to forget about having sex with men,” Orlando police Det. Michael Fields said. “… The girls felt threatened, they were shown guns, firearms, and told that bad things would happen to them if they were to tell.”
Four traffickers were arrested in October 2016 and three took plea deals over the past week in Orange County. Arthur Coleman, the alleged leader received 15 years in prison last week and Jose Ignacio Santiago-Sotomayor was sentenced to 13 years in prison on Monday for human trafficking and the involvement in the girl’s death. The fourth trafficker will be sentenced next month.
This afternoon, Karla Alsina sat expressionless in the courtroom as the victims’ mother and sister who survived the trafficking both confronted her.
Alsina was the only person with the youth when she overdosed on drugs so both family members asked why she did nothing to help her. The victims’ mother said, “You took so much from me… This has been the hardest time of my life.“ But she went on to say that she hopes that Alsina will find God and turn her life around.
The survivor wasn’t as kind as her mother but shared from her heart. She said that she was doing OK and has even been accepted into colleges. She has a bright future ahead while Alsina’s lies behind bars. As she spoke, the trafficker couldn’t meet her eye but looked away in disgust.
As our team exited the courtroom, we made sure to communicate with the family that we were there for them if they ever needed any help. They were encouraged by the large number of people from the community who came to support them in the courtroom today.
The sentencing will not bring back the invaluable life that was lost, but we hope it brings some closure for the family who has lost so much. Please join us in praying for them.
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Original story 1: Traffickers Arrested in Orlando
Original story 2: 2 Remaining Suspects Arrested