On Friday, Paulino Ramirez-Granados, who has been on immigration officials’ most wanted list since 2010,before he was arrested last March in Tenancingo, Mexico was forced to face restitution. The infamous elusive, pimp who smuggled a woman from Mexico to Queens and forced her to have sex with up to 60 men a day was sentenced Friday to nearly 16 years behind bars.
Before learning his fate, Paulino Ramirez-Granados sat quietly as his brave victim detailed the “extreme abuse” she suffered at the hands of the merciless scion of the Granados-Hernandos’ family in Tenancingo, Mexico. The town of Tenancingo is considered ground zero for sex traffickers.
“Paulino was routinely disgusting to me, and treated me like less than a human being,” the victim said in Brooklyn Federal Court, choking up as she spoke.
“I had sex with up to 60 clients in one day and was often forced to sell my body seven days a week. The men hit me, insulted me, and threatened my life. I felt like the dirtiest and worst person in the entire world.”
The 39-year-old Ramirez-Granados, admitted his crimes and asked for compassion.
“It was ignorance and need that led me to be part of this conspiracy,” he said. “What the victim said was true and I ask to be forgiven for what I did.”
While doubting the sincerity in his remorse, Judge Kiyo Matsumoto still spared the defendant a life sentence.
“True remorse will be to fully compensate his victims who suffered terribly as the result of his actions,” she said before sentencing him to 15 years and eight months.
In her powerful victim impact statement, the woman said she was 22 years old when she met Ramirez-Granados through her then-partner, his brother Antonio Lira-Robles.
The victim said she was lured into the family’s clutches by Granados’ brother Antonio Lira-Robles who pled guilty to his role in tha diabolical ring back in 2014 and received a similar 16 year sentence.
Robles received a similar sentence in June 2014 after admitting his role in the family’s cold-blooded sex trafficking ring.
“I carry the scars of Antonio and Paulino’s abuse with me every day, but I can no longer be silent,” the victim said.
Ramirez-Granados was arrested in March 2015 in the central Mexico city of Tenancingo. Between October 1998 and June 2011, Ramirez-Granados and other members of the Granados sex trafficking ring it is alleged, smuggled women into the U.S., where they were forced to work as prostitutes in New York and elsewhere, prosecutors said.
Paulino Ramirez-Granados had been on immigration officials’ most wanted list since 2010, but was arrested last March in Tenancingo, Mexico.
Women who refused to work or resisted were beaten and sexually assaulted. The pimps also threatened the victims’ relatives in Mexico, including their children, prosecutors said.
Detailing the brutal tactics of the sex traffickers, prosecutors said, “This extensive Mexican sex trafficking operation has preyed upon countless young women, exploiting and dehumanizing these victims in terrible ways, in order to line their own pockets,” Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said Friday.
Ramirez-Granados pled guilty to federal sex trafficking charges last June. As part of the agreement, he admitted to trafficking a second woman and agreed to pay restitution to both victims.
Matsumoto ordered Ramirez-Granados to pay restitution of $1.2 million to the victim who spoke in court Friday.
The victim’s attorney who doubts her client will be able to collect her restitution nonetheless, was pleased with the sentence.
“I think it’s gratifying to see that the government is taking these cases seriously but as Jane Doe said, she can’t reclaim those years,” said attorney Lori Cohen.
“No amount of money can redeem her for being raped by all those men over all those years.”
Cohen added that she doubts her client will ever see the cash her captor was ordered to hand over.
“It’s a question of how does that money in Mexico get seized by the United States,” Cohen said. “The money is laundered down there. When it’s in another country, it’s much more complicated.”
For the victim’s teenage daughter, Ramirez-Granados deserved a stiffer sentence:
“Fifteen years is not enough for the time I couldn’t have with my mother,” the daughter said. “I suffered abuse because of him also.”
Following the hearing, the victim delivered a message to other women who have been forced to work as sex slaves: “Don’t be afraid,” she said.
“We can combat this fear and the authorities will help us. You can confide in them.”
Full impact statement from the woman forced into prostitution by Paulino Ramirez-Grenados. She is identified as Jane Doe to maintain her privacy.
I am here today because I want the court to hear firsthand the extreme abuse I suffered at the hands of Paulino Ramirez Granados. I was a victim of sex trafficking and forced prostitution because of Paulino.
The first time I met Paulino, I was 22 years old, and I was told that Paulino was the brother of my then-partner, Antonio Robles. At this time, I did not know that Antonio and Paulino were both pimps and had forced many women into prostitution. Antonio was convicted of sex trafficking and sentenced by this court in 2014.
Although I did not realize it at the time, Paulino was the person responsible for forcing me into prostitution. From a young age, Paulino mentored and taught Antonio how to become a pimp and force young women to have sex with strangers for his own financial benefit. Paulino trained Antonio, and it was Paulino’s car that Antonio used to pick up women, including me, to prostitute. I can attest firsthand that Paulino rented and provided apartments and houses for Antonio to use as brothels. I believe that without Paulino, Antonio would not have become a pimp – he was an extremely important figure in Antonio’s life and in my victimization. It is because of Paulino that Antonio forced me into prostitution.
Over the years, I lived with Paulino in his house and was the target of many of his threats. Paulino also acted as my pimp when Antonio was not there. Paulino was routinely disgusting to me, and treated me like less than a human being. I also witnessed Paulino beat his prostitution victims many times. His victims, following Paulino’s orders, trained me to become a prostitute, just as Paulino had trained Antonio.
When I was forced to come to the United States, Paulino made the arrangements with the coyote to smuggle us into the United States. I still feel so much pain that when Paulino and Antonio forced me to come to this country, they did not let me say goodbye to my daughter or my grandmother, who had raised me. They did not let me leave any of my personal things with family. Instead, my underwear and gifts from my grandmother or other family members were used by other prostitutes living in Paulino’s house when I left.
I was forced to have sex with thousands of men while I was in the United States. I had sex with up to 60 clients in one day and was often forced to sell my body seven days a week. The men hit me, insulted me, and threatened my life. I felt like the dirtiest and worst person in the entire world. I was never happy having to satisfy the sexual desires of strangers, as well as those of Antonio. I never told anyone, including the police, as I could not speak English, and I was afraid they would put me in jail. Antonio and Paulino forced me to continue prostituting myself and told me not to speak with anyone about it. They did not allow me to have friends because they did not want me to ask for help.
I never wanted to be a prostitute. Antonio and Paulino did not care how much pain I was in or if I was bleeding; if I refused to work, Antonio and Paulino insulted me, called me lazy, and physically forced me to work.
Paulino and Antonio made promises that we would escape poverty if I worked in prostitution. But, I never did. My family never did. Women who are forced into prostitution never do. Paulino and Antonio were the ones who escaped poverty through the sexual slavery of me and other women. I see now how I was utilized and forced into prostitution with false promises of love, and I never received that love. I lost the best moments of my life, when I could have been with my family.
For years, I cried in silence. I carry the scars of Antonio and Paulino’s abuse with me every day, but I can no longer be silent. I am here today so that Paulino will never be able to force another woman into prostitution. For myself, for the other women he has victimized, and for the future women I hope he never has the chance to harm, I ask that you give Paulino the maximum sentence allowed.