Three major players in Tulare County sex trafficking ring sentenced to state prison

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Assistant District Attorney David Alavezos understands some may think that is not an appropriate punishment, but says Mancini's victim had a say. (KFSN)

Wednesday it was decided that 44-year-old Antonio Alvarez will spend decades in state prison for his leading role in a Tulare County sex trafficking ring. It involved more than a dozen victims, including both adults and minors.

The sex trafficking ring was broken up last summer by Tulare County authorities in what was called operation Baby Face-- Phase One.

Anthony Raya will spend three years in prison after pleading no contest to pimping and Joel Mancini was sentenced to one year in prison after pleading no contest to being accessory to human trafficking and having sex with a minor.

Assistant District Attorney David Alavezos understands some may think that is not an appropriate punishment, but says Mancini's victim had a say in the case.

"That individual was not asking for any more time," Alavezos said.

The first phase of operation Baby Face was announced last August. Authorities said Alvarez pretended to be a woman on Facebook, recruiting other women for illegal, commercial sex acts.

While the three primary Baby Face suspects were all sentenced Wednesday, there are still additional suspects who committed illegal sex acts with adults or minors, who are awaiting punishment for their crimes.

"People can't expect that minors have any kind of ability to make these decisions. There is no such thing as consent when you're talking about sex with a minor," Alavezos said.

"The victims don't have to go through the trauma of reliving it day in and day out," said Tulare County Sheriff's Captain John Gonzalez.

Gonzalez was satisfied with the speed of justice in this case, but he says their work isn't over-and the same goes for parents.

Operation Baby Face Phase Five is designed to educate family members about the dangers of the internet, and monitoring online activity.

"Engage with the parents and tell them, 'hey, you need to get a hold of your children and talk with them.' Engage with them and let them know the dangers of the internet and who's out there," Gonzalez said.

In the last couple of years, two Tulare County men have been sentenced to prison for sex trafficking. The DA's Office said they are currently prosecuting 10 more people for the same thing.

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