Man gets 32 years for trafficking teens, beating prison guard

TACOMA, Wash. -- A Des Moines man who viciously beat a prison guard while being held on charges of sexually trafficking two 13-year-old girls will spend the next 32 years in prison.

Prosecutors say 22-year-old Sabir Shabazz was being held at the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac early last January when he used a pipe to brutally beat a prison guard in what he later said was an escape attempt.

Another inmate stepped in to help the guard, but the man's head injuries were so severe that he needed surgery and will likely never return to work, according to U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.

At the time of the attack, Shabazz was facing charges of forcing a pair of 13-year-old girls into the sex trade. He and a co-conspirator posted photos of the girls -- both runaways -- on Backpage.com advertising sex. The men then took all the money the young girls made as prostitutes.

"This brutal assault on a prison guard rightfully earned this defendant a lengthy term behind bars," Durkan said in a Tuesday news release. "He preyed on vulnerable 13-year-old girls while on the streets and viciously attacked one of the people we trust to keep our prisons and communities safe and secure. This conduct will not be tolerated."

Shabazz pleaded guilty to multiple counts of assault on a federal officer and benefiting from forced labor and was sentenced Tuesday to 32 years in prison.

In their sentencing memo, prosecutors said, "It is hard to imagine a worse set of offenses - an assault calculated at killing a defenseless jail guard and involvement in the commercial sexual exploitation of two 13 year old girls."