3 sentenced in New Orleans sex-trafficking case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Federal authorities have announced three sentences handed down in an ongoing sex-trafficking case centered on a New Orleans motel.

Three Tennessee men were sentenced Wednesday to prison terms ranging from eight to nearly 21 years. The case dealt with prostitution at the Riviera Motel in New Orleans.

A Justice Department news release says 31-year-old Duane Phillips was sentenced to 20 years and 11 months; 27-year-old Anthony Ellis was sentenced to 15 years; and 23-year-old Zacchaeus Taylor was sentenced to eight years and three months. All three are from Memphis.

All three pleaded guilty to charges related to the Riviera scheme, in which, prosecutors say, women were coerced to engage in prostitution. Coercion methods included withholding of food and physical assault.