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Va. man pleads guilty to sex trafficking a 15-year-old | News

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Va. man pleads guilty to sex trafficking a 15-year-old

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- An Annandale man pleaded guilty Tuesday to sex trafficking of a minor, according to a news release sent out Wednesday.

Ismael Antonio Mendez, 20, faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison.

According to court documents, Mendez and two other adult co-conspirators recruited a 15-year-old girl to engage in commercial sex acts to pay off a debt that Mendez owed to one of the co-conspirators.

The adults taught the girl how to prostitute, took photos of her to use in advertisements, and created advertisements for commercial sex that were posted on the Internet. Court documents state that three adults knew how old the girl was and instructed her to lie to customers.

From at least Nov. 2014 through Feb. 2015, court documents state the adults traveled with the girl through Virginia and other states. The girl worked seven days a week and saw an average of 10 to 12 customers a night, according to court documents.

After earning enough money to cover Mendez's debt, the girl was directed to leave, court documents said.

Mendez is scheduled to be sentenced on March 18, 2016.

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