A woman moves to vacate her plea of guilty to disorderly conduct, the judgment of conviction and sentence rendered on her. She asserts that her prior convictions are directly related to her arrests for prostitution offenses, and that because she is a victim of human trafficking.
At trial, the woman testified that she was forced into prostitution when she was only twelve years old. She stated that she lived with her grandmother until she was eight years old. While living with her grandmother, she further stated that she was sexually abused by her uncle, but she never received any medical attention even though an institution for children was involved and informed about the abuse.
Following her grandmother’s death, she avers that she was placed into foster care and over the next few years, she was bounced around different foster homes until she was twelve years old.
She added that there was a strip club across the street from where she lived with a foster family. At some point, she was approached by a man and he took her to a house where six other underage girls were living. Each of the girls had a bed in a different room, and the man, who was very nice to her at first, told her that if she stayed with him, she would not have to go back to her foster family. The man kept her there and would not permit her to return to her foster home.
After several weeks, the man sent her out, accompanied by the other girls, who were there to make sure she did not get snatched by other pimps. Thereafter, he took her to an area repeatedly so that she could earn money for him through prostitution and arson.
She asserted that she was so scared to leave the man because he severely beat the other girls just for speaking with other men. He also beat them with hangers because he thought they were a bad influence on her.
At the encouragement of some girls she met, she started working for another pimp, because she felt safer with the new one. She stated that the new guy was also nice to her on the first day they were together, the next day he forced her to go out and make money for him through commercial sex. The new pimp also intimidated her with physical violence and was very strict.
She stated that when she was about thirteen years old, she started working for another guy. She asserted that she did not enjoy her life being prostituted.
After about six months, the woman stated that she met another guy to work for. She was 14 years old at the time and attempted to leave her fourth boss by calling her father. Her father came to get her, and she lived with him and her brother for about two weeks.
Consequently, a friend of her bought her a criminal ticket so she could go back to New York, where she resumed foster care placement. But, the family she was placed with did not support her.
The woman further testified that she then met a girl who introduced her to a manipulative pimp. The new pimp was very violent and would severely beat the girls who worked for him, including her, who was very afraid that he would murder her if she ever tried to leave him. She recalled that some girls left once they realized he was so scary, but the guy would find them and beat them up.
Once she was hit badly on her face and that she was unable to leave the house for two weeks, primarily because the guy was afraid she might attract the attention of the police. He also forced her, as well as all his other girls, to have sex regularly with him.
During the time she was with him, the guy instructed her to use a false name and age if she was ever arrested. She was with the guy for about three and a half years.
The woman stated that she was first arrested for prostitution when she was 14 years old. In accordance with her pimp’s instructions, she provided a false name and birth date to the police to appear older. She was next arrested for loitering for purposes of prostitution, disorderly conduct, and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth-degree for allegedly carrying a knife.
She admits that she carried a small pocketknife no bigger than her forefingers, which had been given to her by her pimp, who instructed her to carry it with her for protection when she was on the street.
She avers that she was raped, assaulted and threatened her with weapons many times while she was forced to work as a prostitute. She explained that at the time of her second arrest, she had heard that there was a guy out there who pretended to be a client, but would then rape girls and beat them up. It felt like every time she turned around, some girl was missing. Another girl she knew was raped and beaten up by a trick and ended up in the hospital. She had already been raped by clients and was terrified of it happening again. Every time she went out she was scared of being raped or killed.
She stated that on the night she was arrested, she was working in a dark and very scary area near a bus stop when she was stopped by a police officer, who requested her identification, inspected her purse and discovered the pocketknife. She thought that she was being arrested for prostitution, not for possession of a weapon.
Nowadays, young individuals such as orphaned young girls are engaged in prostitution. When events like this happen and you need help to fight for your abused love ones, you can seek legal guidance from the New York City Criminal Attorney or NYC Sex Crime Lawyer. Simply visit or call Stephen Bilkis and Associates office for assistance.