The Miami Herald reports:
Lured to the United States with the promise of easy money, the slender young man from Hungary spent more than a year confined to bedrooms in New York and Miami — forced to have sex with men around the clock.
His captors raped him. One of the ringleaders, who sometimes wielded a sword, threatened him and his family in Hungary with bloodshed. If he slept with enough johns, the traffickers might give him extra food or a few cigarettes.
Even today, the ordeal has left his psyche in tatters, the 24-year-old told a judge on Tuesday. “It’s really hard for me to socialize, to mingle with people,” he testified through a Hungarian interpreter. “I started drinking heavily to try and forget. I lost all my friends.”
His story — and the accounts of two other Hungarian men forced into sex slavery — convinced a Miami-Dade judge to sentence one of the ringleaders, Andras Janos Vass, to just over 11 years in state prison for human trafficking.
Vass’ punishment marks the first prison sentence in Florida for someone convicted of the human trafficking of gay men. Florida’s tougher human trafficking law went into effect in 2012.
The Herald notes that local LGBT activists attended the sentencing in support of the victims. Two other Hungarian men have yet to be tried.