KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) -- A Kennewick woman who forced underage girls to have sex with men has been sentenced to one year in jail -- an exceptionally low sentence for the felony charges.
The Tri-City Herald reports that 20-year-old Melissa Marie Salsbury and her husband recruited girls, ages 17 and 18, to work as dancers. But once under her command, she would rent hotel rooms and force the girls to have sex with paying customers.
Detectives found out about her operation when one of the girls sought help from a school counselor.
Standard sentence range for her crime is seven and 10 years in prison.
But Benton County Judge Craig Matheson granted the exceptional sentence on Wednesday after finding "substantial and compelling reasons exist" to justify it, including that Salsbury had been similarly exploited when she was younger.