By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4)– Federal authorities estimate there could be up to 2,000 child sex trafficking victims in Colorado and Wyoming, each of whom can make as much as $100,000 for a pimp.

In Colorado, the FBI’s Innocence Lost task force recently pointed to one man, Alex Brown as an example of why human trafficking must be stopped. CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger found him in jail and spoke to him and one of his victims.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“Was he your pimp?” Sallinger asked the woman identified as a victim in the case.

“Yes he was,” she said.

When asked “Was he a pimp for others?” the girl who asked not to be identified replied, “Yes.”

But Brown had a completely different story.

“Were you involved in human trafficking?” he was asked “Not at all,” the answer.

The 40-year-old Brown has been sentenced to spend from 32 years to the rest of his life in prison for offering teenage girls as prostitutes and having sex with at least one.

“Did you know she was 13?” Sallinger asked Brown who replied, “I had no idea, nobody knew.”

CBS4's Rick Sallinger interviews Alex Brown (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger interviews Alex Brown (credit: CBS)

The victim says that’s a lie.

Sallinger asked, “Should he have known you were 13?” to which she softly answered, “It was pretty obvious.”

She says they operated out of a Glendale hotel, placing ads offering the girls as prostitutes, including a teenage friend.

The girl said, “The whole reason she came was to be a prostitute, it was already arranged that’s what it was.”

But Brown was adamant when questioned by CBS4, “Were you a pimp? Were you engaged in putting teenage girls into prostitution?”

He answered, “Under no circumstances was I involved in pimping, I am not a pimp.”

But in a confession prosecutors say he admitted to just that, claiming the 13-year-old girl was his girlfriend and he’s the victim.

CBS4's Rick Sallinger interviews Arapahoe County Chief Deputy District Attorney Leora Joseph (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger interviews Arapahoe County Chief Deputy District Attorney Leora Joseph (credit: CBS)

Leora Joseph is a Chief Deputy District Attorney in Arapahoe County who oversaw the case.

“Two girls, young girls and he is talking about becoming a victim of the system this is actually offensive,” said Joseph. “Where they came before doesn’t exculpate him what happened in their past doesn’t make him a hero it makes him exactly a predator.”

Now Brown insists he is one of many men who have been nailed by the FBI Innocence Lost task force trying to rack up convictions by manipulating the girls.

Sallinger asked, “Are you saying these women are doing this to get avoid being charged as a prostitute?”

Brown replied, “They are doing this to avoid prostitution charges.”

CBS4 asked the girl, “Did law enforcement ever make a deal with you to turn on him?”
“No” she answered, “I was just automatically trying to defend him, protect him*

But Brown was arrested and convicted. Now he claims he was pressured and wants a new trial.

The District Attorney’s office said Brown had ample opportunity to consider his options before pleading guilty.

Joseph said he has wasted a lot of taxpayer’s money through his subsequent court actions. The DA is now attempting to get restitution from Brown for the victims to help pay for counselling and other rehabilitation.

Brown stood firm that he was not involved in trafficking of young girls for sex, “If I knew someone was pimping and molesting children I wouldn’t let them back onto the streets.”

Sallinger reminded him, “You pleaded guilty to that” to which Brown responded, “I sure did and I made that mistake.”

And this once 13-year-old girl has turned her life around thanks, she says to the task force that arrested her.

“They saved my life really,” she said with tears streaming down her face.

When Sallinger asked her, “Why are you crying?” she replied, “Because I appreciate them so much.”

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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