East Bay human trafficker sentenced to 287 years to life

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The East Bay Times has reported that Derrick Harper, a man who routinely kidnapped women at gunpoint and forced them into prostitution, has been sentenced to 287 years to life in prison.  The 39-year-old human trafficker will not be eligible for parole until he has served 287 years in prison.

Harper was charged in 2013 for his involvement in what prosecutors described as the worst human trafficking case in Pittsburg’s history. His co-defendants, Eric Beman and Roy Gordon, have accepted plea deals, but haven’t yet been sentenced. Beman is looking at a maximum of 32 years, and Gordon could get a sentence similar to Harper’s.

Harper was convicted of human trafficking earlier this year,  and in August he was convicted of a special circumstances murder and robbery, in the killing of 35-year-old Jesse Saucedo.

Senior deputy district attorney Mary Knox praised the women who testified against Harper, who sadistically brutalized them to keep them in line. He routinely shaved their heads and raped them as a form of punishment.  Knox also praised Pittsburg police  for making human trafficking investigations a priority.