|Published:||Oct 21, 2010 4:02 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Oct 21, 2010 1:02 PM EDT|
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A South Florida woman accused of forcing two Honduran sisters into the sex trade at Palm Beach County nightclubs has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison.
A judge in West Palm Beach sentenced 35-year-old Veronica Martinez on Wednesday. In a plea agreement, Martinez admitted having the women smuggled to West Palm Beach last year and forcing them to work against their will.
Prosecutors say Martinez forced the sisters to drink, dance naked and submit to men who fondled them at two Palm Beach County bars.
A defense attorney says Martinez danced alongside the girls and never forced them to perform sex acts.
Prosecutors say they had planned to pursue a sex trafficking charge against Martinez but decided a plea agreement would save the sisters from additional hardship.