Two Hungarians will spend more than two decades in prison each for forcing young gay men into sexual slavery in Miami, a judge ruled on Friday.
In a human trafficking case hailed as a major victory for Florida prosecutors, Gabor Acs and Viktor Berki will spend 25 years in prison each for forcing young gay men into human slavery. Acs and Berki were convicted of human trafficking, conspiracy and racketeering back in February. The two could have been sentenced to spend the rest of their lives behind bars.
A third man, Andrew Vass, was previously sentenced to 11 years in prison for his part in the scheme. Vass’ punishment marked the first prison sentence in Florida for someone convicted of the human trafficking of gay men. Florida’s tougher human trafficking law went into effect in 2012.
Prosecutors say Acs and Berki found two of their victims on the website GayRomeo.com and another on Facebook. The victims were young gay men, lured to the U.S from Hungary and promised they would make up to $5,000 a month for legal escort work. Once they arrived, they were forced to prostitute themselves for months back in 2012, first in New York and later in Miami.
The victims told investigators that the suspects "used various techniques to keep them enslaved, including isolating them from others, withholding their travel and identification documents, and using financial manipulation to keep them in constant debt. According to court reports, the pimps confiscated the victims’ passports and threatened to hurt their families back in Hungary if they disobeyed their orders.
One victim, Mario Balog is pleased with the sentencing. His husband, Brian Suthers told SFGN Balog looks forward to putting the entire ordeal behind him.
“He wants to learn to deal with the trauma,”Suthers said. “He still has panic attacks from the PTSD which get in the way of work and other everyday activities. But he’s in better spirits now that this is over.”