WHAT A WAY to spend your birthday.
A pimp nicknamed "King Kobra" was sentenced yesterday to 21 years and 10 months behind bars for three counts of sex trafficking.
A federal jury in April convicted the pimp, Rahim McIntyre - who turned 35 yesterday - of forcing three women into prostitution or attempted prostitution.
U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III told McIntyre that he "took advantage of young women who were extremely vulnerable" and "led them into a life that's just horrible to contemplate."
Just before the judge handed down his lengthy sentence, McIntyre stood before him and thanked the government for "the opportunity to rehabilitate myself." He apologized to the three victims, one of whom was in court.
"I should have never introduced them to a life of criminal activity," he said.
The youngest victim was 16 when she met him in 2006. She had testified that she didn't tell McIntyre her age. The judge ruled yesterday that McIntyre had no reason to know that this victim was a minor.
The other two victims were 18 when they met him: one in 2009, the other in 2011.
All three testified at the trial. Two testified that they were forced to prostitute themselves with men in hotel rooms. A third said she had been beaten by McIntyre in a car, then later escaped from a hotel room with the help of a john. She didn't engage in prostitution.
Photos of the females scantily clad were advertised on websites such as Backpage and Craigslist.
The victim who was in court yesterday was 18 when she met McIntyre. She ended up living with him, and was forced to prostitute herself. One day, she had been so tired after a job that she took a cab back to their place instead of walking. When McIntyre returned home, he beat her on her feet with a metal hanger.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Morgan read a statement by this victim in court yesterday. "This crime has affected me mentally and emotionally," the statement began. The woman said she is in the process of getting intensive therapy. Her time with McIntyre has made her stronger, but also ended up making her "hate myself for this whole thing," the statement said.
McIntyre, of Philadelphia, faced a mandatory-minimum sentence of 15 years in prison. The sentence the judge gave him was at the lower end of an advisory guideline range.
McIntyre's sister, Zarinah, told the judge "the business Rahim was into was not the best choice to generate income." But after their father was diagnosed with cancer, "drastic times called for drastic measures," she said, and McIntyre found a way to bring in needed income for his family.
Defense lawyer Lawrence Bozzelli told the judge, "This is not a case where people were chained in a dungeon." He contended that two of the victims chose to work as prostitutes.
Morgan, however, disputed the notion that the women chose to prostitute themselves for McIntyre. She asked the judge to consider "the degree of psychological manipulation" McIntyre used against the women. She said he selected "vulnerable victims" who were young and came from "difficult life circumstances."