Atlanta 3/23/2012 12:01:03 AM
News / Law

Atlanta Man Imprisoned for Sex Trafficking a 12-Year-Old Girl

ATLANTA, GA - MARCELO ALEJO DESAUTU, 39, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced today before United States District Court Judge Orinda D. Evans to over 17 years imprisonment for sex trafficking of a minor.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said: “This Defendant earned his substantial sentence in federal prison when he drugged and sexually exploited a twelve-year-old girl, forever altering the course of her life.  It is unfathomable that there is even a market for the sale of such a young child for sex.  This lengthy sentence should deter others who would consider engaging in similar heinous acts.”

"Mr. Desautu gave drugs and alcohol to a 12-year-old girl and then prostituted her to adult men," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division.  "He will now, appropriately, spend the next 17 years of his life paying for his horrific crimes.  While no prison sentence can repair the harm caused by such appalling conduct, today's sentence sends a strong message that we will pursue child sex traffickers to the fullest extent of the law.”

DESAUTU was sentenced to serve 17 years, 1 month in prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release.  This sentence is in addition to the time he has been in custody since August 2009. He will be required to register as a sex offender when he is released from custody.  DESAUTU pleaded guilty to the charge on January 10, 2012.

According to United States Attorney Yates and the information contained in the public record:  Between December 2007 and March 2008, DESAUTU agreed to care for a friend’s twelve-year-old daughter.  DESAUTU instead gave the girl alcohol and drugs and then arranged for her to engage in sex acts with adult males for money. DESAUTU took the money the men paid to the young victim and used it to buy drugs for himself and the victim.  DESAUTU also had sex with the young girl.  One of the men who paid to have sex with the twelve-year-old was Gwinnett County businessman Peter Privateer.  Privateer has been charged in both Cobb and Gwinnett County and has entered a guilty plea in Cobb County.

This case is being prosecuted as a priority of the Justice Department’s Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorney's Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit