A Houston pimp known as “Gorgeous Black,” was sentenced Monday to 30 years in prison for repeatedly forcing a 17-year-old runaway to sell her body.
Ronald Block, 44, pleaded guilty to compelling prostitution in an agreement that locks him away for decades, but spares him a possible life sentence if he’d risked a trial.
“Jurors have little mercy for pimps,” said JoAnne Musick, head of the Sex Crimes Division at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
“We are coming after those who run the illegal sex industry in Harris County,” she said. “They can expect stiffer charges and longer sentences.”
Block was already a registered sex offender for sexually assaulting a child in Galveston County and had served time in federal prison for a drug offense.
The runaway was among four prostitutes Block managed during a two-month period in 2015.
She was befriended by a woman working for Block just days after she sneaked away from her Houston home.
Block soon drugged her, had sex with her, and told her she would be working for him.
He took racy photographs of the runaway and other prostitutes for advertisements placed on backpage.com
“Good service is not cheap and cheap service is not good,” read one ad. “I prefer mature, hardworking gentlemen. No cheap guys or young thugs,” read another.
The prostitutes charged $60 to $200 per sex act.
All their earnings were kept by Block, who provided for them.
The Houston Police Department’s Human Trafficking Unit investigated the case with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.