The young woman told the courtroom that she was a normal high school student before she met the man a federal prosecutor called the “CEO” of the largest underage prostitution ring in the Washington region’s history.
She was 16 and had friends and enjoyed soccer, she said, but Justin Strom “brainwashed” her into believing that having sex with men for money was normal. He used flattery and promises of easy cash to lure her and seven other local girls into his operation.
The woman, who testified Friday before Strom was sentenced to 40 years in prison, said she would eat dinner at home with her parents and then turn tricks at night. She slid into addiction, dropped out of school, attempted suicide and had a child. Now, at 20, her life is upside down.
“He’s a con artist, a monster and a manipulator,” she said, sobbing, as Strom sat a few feet away. “I still feel broken and worthless. I feel like I’m at the bottom, and I can’t get out.”