A Gastonia man has been sentenced to life in prison for running a prostitution business involving both adults and minors in South Carolina. Authorities say he is the first human trafficker convicted at trial in South Carolina.
Samuel "Promise" Pratt, 35, was sentenced to life on four counts related to sex trafficking, 360 months on production of child pornography, 120 months on possessing child pornography, 120 months on being a felon in possession of a firearm and 60 months for obstruction of justice.
Pratt was also ordered to pay more than $40,000 in restitution to the child victims.
Pratt's mother, Daphne Pratt, 53, also of Gastonia, was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison. Prosecutors say she pled guilty to conspiracy to sex traffic minors and testified against her son at his trial in exchange for a reduced sentence. She admitted to running the business at her son's direction, officials say.
Prosecutors say Samuel Pratt ran a prostitution business with both adults and juveniles in South Carolina, North Carolina and New York. Two of the trafficking victims were 14 and 17-years-old.
"The first step on addressing the cancer of human trafficking is to hold the traffickers accountable and that is what this case and this sentence does," says United States Attorney Beth Drake.