MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A petite pimp is heading to prison. A Bartlett woman, 19-year-old Kala Bray, was sentenced Thursday for forcing minors to have sex for money. Bray will serve 14 years in federal prison. She pleaded guilty to sex trafficking charges in November 2011. The defense painted her as a victim, not as a sexual predator, but the prosecution says she's a danger to the public.
Prosecutors claim Bray has been involved in prostitution since she was 14 years old. First as the victim, sexually abused and exploited, and then later as the attacker doing the same thing to the people she called her friends. The judge says he believes she's remorseful but her choices in life have serious consequences.
"It's mind boggling. Words can't describe it. It's just an unbelievable, an upsetting situation,” said Bray’s defense attorney, Michael Scholl, after the sentencing Thursday afternoon.
Bray, a 100 pound, blue-eyed, blond haired girl of Bartlett was labeled a sexual predator and victim.
"Ms. Bray has gone through an extremely traumatic history of abuse, both through strangers and people she trusted,” said Scholl.
One of the people she trusted was her former attorney, Mark Saripkin. According to court documents, Saripkin was accused of having sex with her in exchange for his legal fees. He gave up his law license a few months ago because of those allegations and she was assigned a new lawyer, Michael Scholl.
"He took advantage of her sexually, mentally, physically and that's just a repulsive, unbelievable set of circumstances,” Scholl told ABC24 News.
Prosecutors say Bray's life started to spiral out of control when she was 12 years old. She abused drugs like marijuana, cocaine, Oxycontin, Xanax and alcohol. Eventually, she started pimping girls online using Backpage.com, a website infamous for prostitution and child trafficking.
"I would say it's akin to modern day slavery and particularly when you prey upon our most vulnerable victims, in this case children, minors, that is something society won't tolerate," said U.S. Attorney for the Tennessee Western District Edward Stanton.
Prosecutors say in the summer of 2011 Bray lured two Memphis girls, ages 15 and 16, to Houston with promises of a trip to a water park. Bray and her co-defendant, Vincent "Pistol Pete" Jones, drugged the girls and forced them to have sex for money.
Bray has been behind bars since she pleaded guilty to the sex trafficking conspiracy on November 4, 2011. On Thursday, October 11, 2012, the judge sentenced her to 14 years in federal prison and 5 years supervised release. The judge also ordered Bray into a drug treatment program and she has to register as a sex offender.
As for Jones, he also pleaded guilty to the same charge of child sex trafficking on July 7, 2012. He will be sentenced on December 14, 2012.