Minneapolis, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Twin Cities man has been sentenced to 33 years in federal prison for sex trafficking charges involving two Rochester area juveniles.

36-year-old Lee Paul was convicted last December on the charges contained in a federal indictment that accused him of forcibly prostituting and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old Rochester girl. Prosecutors say Paul and a 21-year-old Alexandria woman used text messages to lure the 12-year-old to a fast food restaurant in Rochester. She and a 16-year-old Kasson girl were then taken to the Twin Cities, where both girls were sexually assaulted.

The younger girl was then transported to Alexandria, where she was forced to have sex with men who responded to an ad on Craigslist.

Authorities were able to rescue her after the 16-year-old girl contacted a law enforcement officer in the Twin Cities.

“I remain amazed at the courage and fortitude shown by the young victims who stood up to Paul and who took back from him the power he tried to exert over them. Everything about Paul’s conduct belies any notion that he can be trusted to walk the streets ever again. My office is committed to prosecuting human traffickers like Paul and bringing to justice anyone who would exploit and abuse the most vulnerable in our community,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

After charges were filed against him in Olmsted and Anoka Counties, Paul fled from Minnesota and was later captured in Georgia.

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