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3 charged in brutal California trafficking ring

PITTSBURG, Calif. (AP) -- Three Northern California men are facing charges in what prosecutors say was a brutal sex trafficking ring in which women were raped and beaten and one was branded with a clothes iron.

Contra Costa County prosecutors on Thursday charged Eric Beman, Roy Gordon and Derrick Harper with conspiracy to commit human trafficking, torture, mayhem and kidnapping for extortion.

Prosecutor Mary Knox says the men, all from Pittsburg, used force to keep at least three women in their late teens and early 20s in their prostitution ring.

Knox says the men would shave the women's heads with butcher knives and clippers as punishment. One woman has a scarred leg after allegedly being burned with an iron. The alleged crimes occurred from 2006 to 2013.

It was not immediately known whether the defendants had attorneys.

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