Nashville: A US jury on Friday convicted three men charged with operating a sex-trafficking ring run mostly by Somali refugee gang members.
Another six were acquitted.
The defendants were among 30 who were indicted in the multistate case.
A Somali witness identified only as Jane Doe No. 2 testified that she was used as a prostitute by gang members starting at the age of 12. She cried in court as she described being taken to several apartments in Minneapolis to have sex with Somali men for money, sometimes for as little as USD 40.
Defense attorneys said the witness willingly had sex with multiple defendants and lied about it so her conservative Somali family could save face.
Idris Ibrahim Fahra, Andrew Kayachith and Yassin Abdirahman Yusuf were found guilty of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of children. Fahra also was found guilty of sexually trafficking children.
Seven of the nine defendants are of Somali descent. Another was born in Ethiopia. Kayachith was born in the US and is of Laotian descent.