For the McIntyre brothers of North Philadelphia, pimping was a family affair - a profession that landed one in federal prison Monday and threatens to send the other to join him soon.
A federal judge sentenced younger brother Rahim, an aspiring 35-year-old rapper who went by the street name "King Kobra," to 21 years and 10 months behind bars on Monday after a conviction on three counts of sex trafficking.
Younger brother Rashaad, who adopted "Sincere" as his moniker, pleaded guilty to trafficking charges of his own and an additional count of producing child pornography. He is set for sentencing next month.
But with prison awaiting, the elder brother told U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III that he had rethought his career prospects. He now hopes to become a taxi driver or trucker upon his release.
"I would like to thank God for putting me in this position to help me realize I was living wrong," he said. "I would like to apologize to the young ladies I misguided. I hope one day these young ladies can forgive me."
To which Bartle replied: "It's too bad you didn't think about this before.
"You took advantage of young women who were extremely vulnerable," Bartle said, "and led them into a life that is just horrible to contemplate."
Prosecutors say the brothers used similar methods to practice their craft. Both lured troubled teens into prostitution and advertised their services on websites such as Craigslist and BackPage.
Once they had them under their control, both kept them there by taking the money they earned "doing dates" for cash. And both recruited others using social networking sites.
The younger McIntyre, prosecutors said, created a female persona that he used to befriend troubled teenage females online. The elder had a woman, one of his prostitutes, do the work.
He also routinely sent women into teen hangouts such as the Gallery to seek recruits.
But as several of the women working for the younger brother testified at his April trial, those who disobeyed the elder McIntyre's orders often got hurt. They described him as a demanding boss who expected his women to ask permission to buy clothing or food. He once asked one to have his name tattooed on her arm, one of the women said.
When another bought shoes without his permission, he beat her with one until she bled. Yet another told jurors she received a beating with a metal hanger for spending money on cab fare after a night of walking the streets of Center City.
"I feel as if I don't think normally anymore. My feelings are all over the place," one of his former sex workers wrote in a letter to Bartle. "I hate myself for this whole thing."
Despite those crimes, Lawrence Bozzelli, lawyer for Rahim McIntyre, objected to the term sex trafficking being applied to his client. Each of the women knew his line of work and willingly agreed to work with him, the lawyer said.
"Each one had the ability to leave at any time," he said. "And eventually they did."
The sentence Bartle imposed Monday was just over half the 40 years sought by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Morgan. She said a stiffer punishment was justified because at least one of the girls he recruited was a minor.
Bartle rejected the argument because the jury in McIntyre's case found it was unclear whether he knew the girl was underage at the time.
The younger McIntyre could face up to life in prison at a sentencing hearing in September.
Their mother, Patricia, said only: "Today, our family is heartbroken."