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Crime

Two men convicted of running ‘gay sex slave ring’ in New York and Miami face 200 years in prison

Joseph McCormick February 2, 2017

Two men have been found guilty of running a sex slave ring in the US.

The men, Hungarian nationals, Gabor Acs and Viktor Berki, were convicted by a Miami-Dade jury this week.

They were convicted of human trafficking, conspiracy and racketeering.

It was the first time Florida prosecutors had handled a case where gay men were forced into prostitution.

Both men had been involved in the sex slave ring which operated in New York and Miami, and lured young gay men to the US.

Three victims testified in the case, and had previously testified when Andras Janos Vass was sentenced back in 2015 to eleven years in prison for leading the ring.

Jurors deliberated in the case for four hours and the two men in the latest case are set to be sentenced at a later date.

They could face up to 200 years in prison if given the maximum sentence for their crimes.

Vass had faced 155 years in prison for his crimes.

The jurors had weighed up whether the victims who testified were the victims of the sex ring, or whether they had been willing to participate, as the defence argued in its case.

Investigators noted that the men met via the site called GayRomeo.com, and that the three men were in 2012 flown to New York City, where they believed they would be participating in a legal business.

But they were later forced to sleep in cramped apartments while being made to perform sex acts around the clock in person and on webcam.

The court heard that the men were barely fed and were threatened with violence if they did not comply with their orders.

“These victims were no match for these defendants. They were 20-year-olds who didn’t have enough education, who were desperate for money, who came over here without speaking the language, barely any U.S. money to their name” prosecutor Brenda Mezick said during the case.

She added: “Human trafficking, modern-day slavery, is not tolerated for anyone, and all are protected.”

But the defence had argued that the three men had simply turned on the accused and simply had wanted to remain in the US.

“What they said about the coercion never happened,” Berki’s attorney, Ronald Manto told jurors.

“They were doing what they wanted to do and they were doing it the way they wanted to.”

More: Miami, New York City, US

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