Man sentenced to 40 years in prison for trafficking teens

Posted at 4:43 PM, Sep 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-23 16:43:41-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for sex trafficking three minors in Kent and Muskegon counties.

Richardo Urbina received his sentence Monday after being convicted of multiple counts of sex trafficking in May.

Investigators said Urbina found his victims by recruiting girls in high school who identified the most vulnerable girls they knew. He would target runaways who needed money and a place to stay.

Urbina would give the girls alcohol and cocaine to entice them to “dance” and give “massages” to men he arranged for them to meet. The girls were expected to have sex with the men after Urbina left them alone.

U.S. District Judge Janet Neff said the case was “among the most serious the Court has ever seen” and said it was difficult to find more offenses more serious.

During the trial, jurors heard from 10 of Urbina’s victims. One of them said he offered to let her live with him when she needed a place to stay, and was forced to have sex with someone for money on her first night there.

Barb Gillespie, who was trafficked by Urbina, attended the sentencing on Monday.

“My message to him is: it’s over now. Can’t do it to anybody else, nope,” Gillespie said. “He cannot get out. The lady assured me that he cannot get out of prison.”