A federal judge has sentenced 26-year-old Randolph Johnson Spain to 20 years in prison after he was convicted in January of forcing women into prostitution.
U.S. District Judge James C. Fox sentenced Spain to the maximum punishment allowed by federal law – 10 years for each count – on charges of two counts of interstate transportation of a person with the intent of engaging in prostitution, according to U.S. Attorney’s Office Spokesman Don Connelly.
Spain, of Wilmington, was convicted by a federal jury on Jan. 12 and sentenced in the case Wednesday, Connelly said. Upon release from federal prison, Spain has been ordered to serve 10 years of supervised probation.
According to Connelly, evidence at the federal trial indicated Spain had wooed a woman for several months before taking her to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where he threatened the woman into prostitution.
According to a criminal complaint filed against Spain in February 2014, the investigation into the case began when the victim reported a domestic violence incident with Spain.
Spain had become the “target” of a collaborative investigation between the Wilmington Police Department, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Connelly said.
“For approximately three months, [the woman] reported she ‘dated’ Spain, at the end of which time he convinced her she could make more money by prostituting herself,” the complaint reads. The woman claimed in her complaint that Spain threatened to assault her if she complained about the prostitution.
Spain reportedly promoted the prostitution of the woman by posting photos and contact information on the classified website backpage.com. Other website ads for prostitution – including classified ads on Craigslist.com – were posted in Jacksonville, Virginia Beach, Virginia, and several cities in California.
At trial, a second woman who testified reported Spain controlled his victims through violence and took them to Virginia as well as other states for prostitution, Connelly said.
Spain also faced several indicted charges in New Hanover County Superior Court, including charges of sexual servitude of a minor, promoting prostitution of a minor, human trafficking of a minor, as well as human trafficking and sexual servitude of two adult victims, in the case that state prosecutors called the first human trafficking case of its kind in North Carolina. Court records show his state charges — indicted in December 2013 — are still pending in superior court.