GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – An Arvada man who lured seven different young women into prostitution in exchange for meth will spend 30 years in prison.

Joe Avalos pleaded guilty to seven felonies and one misdemeanor and was sentenced on Friday at the Jefferson County Courthouse.

Avalos’s female victims were as young as 14, and some told CBS4 off-camera after the sentencing that they continue to struggle with what happened to them.

Prosecutors, detectives and some of the victims detailed in the hearing how Avalos manipulated and menaced the victims — some of whom were runaways– and in some cases threatened to kill them. He would take the victims to hotels in several metro Denver communities and pimp them out for methamphetamine.

“He degraded them and dehumanized them so much that they really felt like they had no choice,” prosecutor Katie Kurtz said.

Avalos spoke briefly at his hearing and apologized. He asked the judge to spare him from the maximum sentence.

“And I do take responsibility for the things I did. It was evil, demonic, and I just ask that you please have mercy on me,” he said.

The judge said the only mitigating factor is that he spared his victims a trial. First Judicial District Court Judge Randall Arp handed down a sentence that was not the maximum of 60 years, but threw the book at him with his words.

“You are not a just a predator, you’re a sexual predator,” Arp said. “Not only are you a sexual predator you prey on not just women but what I would consider to be nothing more than young girls.

One detective, who works undercover, got choked up while describing what he said were the horrific details of Avalos’s crimes.

“In my time as a peace officer, I have never had involvement in a case which turned my stomach, gave me sleepless nights or made me hug my children any harder than the case that Joe Avalos shows before this court today,” said the officer, whose identity was required to be kept private by the court.

Avalos’s mother wept as the sentence was being read. His brother also tried to appeal to the judge, saying “the Joe on paper is not the Joe that we know.”