Colorado Man Sentenced To Record-Breaking 448 Years In Prison For Trafficking Minors And Women

In a landmark case, a Colorado judge has handed down a historic prison sentence of 448 years to Robert Hawkins, a man convicted of sex trafficking numerous victims, including two juveniles, four women, and one man. The sentence, believed to be the longest in U.S. history for human trafficking, comes after Hawkins refused a plea deal that would have seen him serve 40 years behind bars.

Hawkins was found guilty of 18 counts, including five counts of human trafficking, following a month-long trial in Denver District Court that ended in his conviction in March. All seven victims testified against Hawkins, providing damning evidence of his crimes.

According to Chief Deputy District Attorney Lara Mullin, law enforcement officials first became aware of Hawkins’ involvement in sex trafficking after investigating a shooting incident on Colfax Avenue. As they delved deeper into Hawkins’ activities, they identified another victim who had been involved in the shooting, which turned out to be a case of sex trafficking.

An arrest warrant revealed the horrifying details of Hawkins’ crimes, with victims as young as 13 being forced to sell their bodies and cook for him under threat of violence. The affidavit stated that “the girls were required to make a minimum of $500 per day” and “a $5,000 quota to gain Hawkins’ trust,” which was intended to help pay for fake identification and birth certificates to enable the girls to travel to California for sex work.

One of Hawkins’ adult victims expressed relief at the sentence, stating, “I am glad for all the victims, including minors, getting justice due to an inhumane action Mr. Hawkins has done to us, and I’m glad he will be serving the rest of his life behind bars! He took our freedom from us, now he got his taken from him. I am relieved this monster is locked away for good.”

Denver District Attorney Beth McCann praised the sentence, hoping that it would send a strong message that human trafficking will not be tolerated in the community and will be prosecuted aggressively. She emphasized that Hawkins, like most human traffickers, showed no regard for anyone but himself and took advantage of six extremely vulnerable victims.

The case marks a significant victory in the fight against human trafficking, with the previous longest sentence for such a crime being 401 years, also in Colorado.