A Missouri man who took a teenage girl from Massachusetts to a motel in Rhode Island intending to sell her for sex has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.
The judge at the sentencing Tuesday of 30-year-old Stephen Ardrey in federal court said the sentence was to send a message that sex trafficking in Rhode Island is taken seriously and punished severely.
Ardrey, of Springfield, Missouri, previously pleaded guilty to trafficking a minor and transporting a minor to engage in sex.
Prosecutors say Ardrey met the 17-year-old girl online and took her from a library in Medfield, Massachusetts to a motel in West Greenwich in September.
Ardrey's lawyers argued for a lighter sentence because he witnessed his girlfriend's suicide when he was 16 and suffers from a mental illness.