Former Army sergeant sentenced in sex trafficking case

A federal judge sentenced a former Army sergeant based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord to 11 years in prison after he was convicted of sex trafficking children.

Sterling T. Hospedales, 26, also must registered as a sex offender when he's released and be supervised for seven years, the U.S. District Attorney's Office reported today.

"You elected to go down a road of service to a country that adopted you, but you also chose a very dark road to go down," U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle told Hospedales during Monday's sentencing. "Whatever sentence I give you won't heal the scars your actions imposed upon these victims."

Hospedales pleaded guilty in July to sex trafficking of a child and attempted sex trafficking of a child.

Prosecutors alleged Hospedales lured two runaway girls, ages 16 and 17, into prostitution. He allegedly posted nude photos of them on the classified-ad website Craigslist and said the girls would trade sex for money.

The case was investigated by Lakewood police and the federal Innocence Lost Task Force, which looks into sex trafficking of children.