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Man gets 40 years for pimping

FARGO — A federal judge on Thursday, Dec. 21, sentenced a Chicago man to 40 years in prison for the sex trafficking of five women, including one minor.

Prosecutors had asked for a life sentence for Anthony Collier, 30, but U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson said it was possible Collier might someday grow up and put his intelligence and talents to legitimate use.

Erickson questioned the wisdom of Collier's decision to act as his own attorney during his trial and during Thursday's sentencing hearing. The judge said many of Collier's problems in life appeared to stem from his belief he is smarter than everyone else.

"You have been your own worst enemy," Erickson said.

Collier spoke several times during Thursday's hearing, rarely touching on details of the crimes he was accused of, other than to say he had legally set up an adult entertainment business and that if anything illegal happened it was not at his direction.

He said he could be verbally abusive toward people, but added, "I can't take responsibility for prostitution."

In April, a federal court jury found Collier guilty of trafficking five victims from April 2015 through August 2016 between Minnesota and North Dakota.

His case was moved to federal court in Fargo after originating in Minnesota, where Collier had faced 15 sex trafficking counts in Clay County District Court in Moorhead.

In arguing for a life sentence, federal prosecutors noted trial testimony from several victims, including a woman who said Collier once became angry with her for texting a former boyfriend and Collier punished her by slapping her and urinating on her.

Another victim testified that Collier required her to meet a quota of making $750 a day through prostitution, money she was never allowed to keep. The woman testified that Collier once found cash in her wallet and told her if she ever tried to keep money from him again it would be the last thing she ever did.

On Thursday, Judge Erickson said Collier's crimes were despicable and showed "a degree of depravity greater than usual."

While acknowledging that Collier had had a rough start in life, Erickson said, "even in a tough neighborhood, nobody is taught it's OK to knock people down and urinate on them."

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