BEAUMONT — A Silsbee man found guilty in what was Jefferson County's first ever human trafficking trial has been sentenced Thursday afternoon to prison.
Johnny Ray Matlock was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
A Jefferson County jury unanimously found Matlock guilty of "continuous trafficking of persons" earlier Thursday.
Following the conviction, the defense approached Assistant District Attorney Kim Pipkin and were able to reach an agreement. They agreed on 60 years in prison, and the judge accepted the punishment. Matlock gave up his right to appeal and his right to a new trial.
Matlock is eligible for parole after 30 years, but Pipkin said with his criminal record and the facts presented in the case, it's unlikely he'll ever be released from prison.
Four women shared their stories during the trial about how they were threatened and then forced into prostitution.
One victim said she no longer trusts anyone and even feels guilty because she opened up to Matlock.
Some of the women have moved out of state to move on and because they were too scared to stay anywhere near Matlock.
Assistant District Attorney Kim Pipkin said no amount of time in prison can make up for the pain Matlock has caused, but the punishment is a big win for the victims.
"I saw one of them smile after this today, I haven't seen her smile in the two years the case has been pending and she said, 'you're right, I feel better, I have my powerback,'" said Pipkin.
She hopes today's conviction sends a strong message to others trying to traffic girls in Southeast Texas.
"Law enforcement is watching, we're going to be watching these motels, we're going to go after buyers, we're going to go after these pimps and we're going to do whatever we can to hep girls and women who end up in this situation," said Pipkin.