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BALTIMORE (AP) — A federal jury has convicted a Maryland man of forcing at least eight people, some of them children, to engage in sex acts for his personal financial gain, according to federal prosecutors.

Feliciano de Jesus Diaz-Martinez, 43, of Owings Mills, was convicted of multiple charges, including sex trafficking of a child and enticement of a minor to engage in prostitution, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Maryland said in a news release on Friday. Diaz-Martinez has been in custody since his indictment in July 2019.

Trial testimony confirmed that Diaz-Martinez knew that one of his victims was 16 years old when he first caused her to engage in commercial sex acts. Evidence proved that nearly all of the victims that Diaz-Martinez caused to engage in commercial sex acts suffered from serious substance abuse disorders, including addictions to heroin and crack cocaine.

Several victims testified that Diaz-Martinez frequently demanded that they engage in sex acts with him, free of charge, and that he retaliated against the victims if he was not satisfied with the encounter, the news release said.

Sentencing for Diaz-Martinez is scheduled for Feb. 11, 2022.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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