A child sex trafficker who was using Northern Virginia as one base of operations now is headed to prison for decades.
Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Claude Hilton followed the recommendations of prosecutors and sentenced Lenny Haskins to a 40-year term with a lifetime of supervised release.
Haskins' attorney had asked for closer to a 10-year term.
Federal investigators say Haskins set two teens up in hotels in the Tysons and Herndon area last summer. He met the 15- and 17-year-old girls in California, where he also worked as a pimp. Both the girls were runaways from foster care.
He brought them to Northern Virginia, one of the country's most lucrative spots for human trafficking.
"Northern Virginia has such high income, and they know that," said Kay Duffield, executive director of the NoVA Human Trafficking Initiative, an organization that assesses and gets help for minors rescued from the trade.
"They are well aware there are buyers here," Duffield said. "We are one of the top five places in the United States for human trafficking. And as far as teen sex trafficking, we are just growing rampantly."
News4 first reported on Haskins in 2013, when he was pimping from behind bars at the Fairfax County jail. He ordered women working for him to bring their earnings to his commissary account.
In court today, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Frank asked for a stiff sentence. "He is a career pimp with over 50 arrests. He's a violent pimp."
Investigators say Haskins set earning quotas for the girls of $1,000 per day.
He reportedly gave them drugs so they could work longer hours and as part of the bargain, he could also have sex with the teens.
Frank also spotlighted an incident in Las Vegas in which a toddler died. The 18-month-old girl was the daughter of one of the women working for Haskins; he'd sent the woman to Tennessee.
One day, while the little girl was in Haskins' care, a door was left open and she walked into the swimming pool and drowned. Haskins did not call 911, but instead fled to California.
He was later charged with, but acquitted of, child endangerment resulting in death.
Haskins told the judge Friday he was sorry for the pain he caused the victims. "There was a lot of money to be made," Haskins said. "I always had good intentions for others."
Judge Hilton imposed the 40-year term and barred Haskins from having any contact with the victims.
Duffield says she's glad to see the stiff sentence. "My hope is it sends a message to traffickers or people who are even thinking about trafficking human beings that it will not be tolerated in Northern Virginia," she said.
Investigators say Haskins didn't work alone. Earlier this week, News4 reported on the arrest of 24-year-old Geidre Ruseckaite; police say they found her at a Herndon hotel arranging for prostitution with her 3-year-old son by her side. Haskins is the boy's father.
Now Ruseckaite is charged with child sex trafficking for helping Haskins traffic the two teens.
Investigators say she showed them how to set up backpage.com accounts and transported them to different cities to work.
Duffield says finally, with both Haskins and Ruseckaite behind bars, the girls are free from the traffickers.
"They have such a long road of recovery, They have experienced such trauma at the hands of the trafficker and the buyers," Duffield said. "I know that they have good people surrounding them to help them and they have bright futures to look forward to."