A Columbia man admitted in federal court he trafficked three girls under 18 and to his role in a sex trafficking ring that spawned a 26-count indictment.
Da-Shun Shukur Curry, 23, pleaded guilty in Charleston to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, a federal crime that carries a penalty of up to life in prison, according to a Tuesday news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The agency said sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.
Curry admitted to driving three girls to the North Charleston area, where they were prostituted, the release said. Two of the girls were trafficked between March and April 2014, according to the indictment filed in January. The third was trafficked between December 2013 and June 2014. All three minors are identified in the indictment only by their initials.
Overall, at least 11 girls were forced into prostitution since 2011, according to the indictment that charged eight men, including Curry, of conspiracy. Each faced additional individual charges, totaling 26 counts.
According to federal documents in the case, the men recruited underage girls and young women to work for them. They would then teach the girls and young women how to prostitute themselves and how to charge for their services, the indictment said.
The men would beat or threaten to hurt the girls and young women to scare and control them, the indictment said. The men would also advertise the girls on the internet.