Georgia man receives 80-year sentence for human trafficking

ATLANTA - A 37-year-old Douglasville, Ga., man will spend the rest of his life in prison after he was found guilty of six counts of human trafficking, two counts of aggravated child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes and pandering by compulsion.

Steven Donald Lemery was sentenced to 80 years in prison Wednesday by Douglas County Superior Court Judge David. T. Emerson. The investigation resulting in Lemery's conviction was conducted by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office with significant assistance provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

According to evidence presented at court, Lemery is a former Atlanta go-go dancer who lured victims as young as 15 years old to his home for sexual purposes, in some cases pimping them out for homosexual prostitution. Victims testified that they were held in Lemery's home and not allowed to leave. They were plied with drugs and alcohol and were made to participate in sex acts. One victim described being forced into prostitution, where he was held down and burned at a client's house as they attempted to rape him.

"The horrific crimes perpetrated against these victims, two of whom were 15-year-old children, cannot be allowed to stand in a civil society," said Brock D. Nicholson, special agent in charge of HSI Atlanta. "HSI was proud to support the Douglas County Sheriff in this investigation. Thanks to the hard work of law enforcement and the aggressive prosecution by the Douglas County District Attorney's Office, Mr. Lemery will never again have the freedom to victimize another child."

A co-defendant in Lemery's case, Christopher Andrew Lynch, received a 30-year sentence in March after pleading guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of a child, pimping a victim under the age of 18 and pandering by compulsion.