FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A convicted Florida sex trafficker who recruited runaway teenagers to work as prostitutes has been sentenced to life in federal prison.
Trial testimony showed that 49-year-old Van Lawson Williams of Fort Lauderdale would promise runaway girls shelter and food at his home but then demand they help pay the bills. Six of the girls testified they were forced into prostitution, given drugs including crack cocaine and marijuana and sometimes used for sex by Williams.
The girls were as young as 12.
The life sentence was imposed Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley. Williams was convicted in October by a jury of five sex-trafficking related charges involving minors.