A Cobb County man will spend more than 17 years in federal prison for selling a 12-year-old girl for sex over a period of more than three months.
Marcelo Alejo Desautu, age 39 or 40, pleaded guilty in January to sex trafficking of minor and was sentenced Wednesday in Atlanta to 17 years and one month in prison, then 10 years of supervised release. He has been in the since August 2009.
“It is unfathomable that there is even a market for the sale of such a young child for sex,” U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a Justice Department news release. “This lengthy sentence should deter others who would consider engaging in similar heinous acts.”
A friend trusted Desautu to look after her 12-year-old daughter while the mother worked between December 2007 and March 2008, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Desautu took advantage of the opportunity by plying the girl with drugs and alcohol, then selling her to men and having sex with her himself.
One of the customers was Gwinnett County businessman Peter Privateer, who was the CEO of Reflex Security. Arrested in July 2010 in Cobb County, according to The Marietta Daily Journal, he pleaded guilty to child molestation in December and received a 10-year prison term and still faces charges in Gwinnett.
The abuse of the girl came to light in 2008 after a meth overdose put her into a coma for three days, the AJC said.
“While no prison sentence can repair the harm caused by such appalling conduct, today's sentence sends a strong message that we will pursue child sex traffickers to the fullest extent of the law,” Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said.
The sex-trafficking operation is similar to the , a Douglasville drag queen sentenced this month to 14 years in prison for drugging and pimping out teenagers.
It's also reminiscent of the , a fugitive who was caught in February on charges in Cobb that she sold her own young daughters for sex.
The Atlanta area reportedly is a .