Generic Crime

A Gainesville man was convicted Wednesday of sex trafficking by force and promoting prostitution, the Department of Justice said.

After a three-day trial, 34-year-old Arthur Larange Lee Jr. was convicted in the U.S. District Court in Gainesville for abducting a drug-addicted woman from the parking lot of a Gainesville church where she was attending a Narcotics Anonymous meeting in August 2016, according to a DOJ press release.

He took the woman’s phone, ordered her to drive to a nearby hotel and photographed her for an advertisement on Backpage.com, a personal advertisement website, according to the press release.

After Lee told the woman he would “break her in,” he raped, burned and committed other acts of violence against her, the DOJ said.

For two days, Lee forced her to engage in sexual acts in local hotels and private residences with numerous customers and kept the money, the DJ said.

According to the DOJ, the woman was able to escape after a customer agreed to help her.

She fled with Lee’s phone and called police, who arrested Lee at the hotel she escaped. The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case.

For the sex trafficking charges, Lee faces a minimum of 15 years and maximum of life in prison. Lee faces a maximum of 5 years in prison for the promotion of prostitution charge.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for the morning of April 23.

Contact Meryl Kornfield at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @merylkornfield.

Meryl Kornfield, a UF journalism senior, is the editor-in-chief. Born in Miami, FL, she first worked at her high school newspaper, The Palmetto Panther. She has since interned at the South Florida Sun Sentinel, The Palm Beach Post and The Gainesville Sun.