First Conviction Under New Sex Trafficking Law
A St. Albans man, who used his Far Rockaway brother to help conceal his crimes, was the first person convicted under New York State's sex trafficking statute which became law in 2007, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown has announced.
David Brown, 32, was convicted last week of second-degree kidnapping, sex trafficking, third-degree promoting prostitution, first-degree unlawful im - prisonment and third-degree assault following a two-week jury trial. He faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced on January 15, 2010.
According to trial testimony, in August 2008, the 19-year-old victim was "sold" to Brown for $2,000 by an ex-girlfriend who was an acquaintance of the victim.
The defendant told the victim that she would be his "bitch" and that she would work as a prostitute in order to earn him money. Brown also told her that she was not allowed to talk to her family or friends or leave his apartment without him or else he would beat her and cut up her body to make sure that no one would know she was dead. Whenever Brown left the location, he would have someone watch the victim to make sure that she didn't leave. Trial testimony also revealed that Brown took nude photographs of the victim in various poses and posted the photographs on Craigslist to advertise her services as a prostitute. Testimony showed that during a 12- day period in August the victim engaged in sexual acts with approximately thirty men in exchange for cash - ranging from $60 to $200 - which she turned over to Brown.
Finally, on August 23, 2008, the victim managed to escape from Brown's residence when left alone. However, the next morning, Brown and an unapprehended male found her at a location on Lefferts Avenue. Brown and the unapprehended male who was holding a gun approached her and Brown grabbed her by the wrist and said that she had to come back with him to earn him money as a prostitute. She was then forced into a car.
District Attorney Brown said that Brown and a co-defendant, Nino Isakadze, 21, were originally arrested on August 24, 2008, on charges of raping the victim and forcing her into prostitution. At their arraignments, bail was set at $200,000 for Brown and $50,000 for Isakadze. When the case was about to be presented to a grand jury, authorities learned that the victim had run away. Unable to locate the victim and proceed with the case in a timely fashion, the Court was forced to release the defendants without bail pursuant to Criminal Procedure Law 180.80. The victim was subsequently found on September 23, 2008, when she was arrested on a charge of loitering for the purposes of prostitution. A joint investigation by the New York City Police Department and the Queens District Attorney's Office revealed that Brown's brother, Devon Gordon, 27, of 656 Grassmere Terrace in Far Rockaway, had paid the victim not to testify and then hid her. Gordon has since pleaded guilty to tampering with a witness and was sentenced to a conditional discharge. Isakadze, who has been indicted on charges of firstdegree rape and fourth-degree promoting prostitution, is a fugitive.
The investigation was conducted by the New York City Police Depart - ment's Queens Gang Squad - specifically Police Officer Michael Perez and Detective Anthony Bachiller under the supervision of Sergeant Patrick Delaney - and its Major Case Vice Squad - specifically Detective Paul Carlin and Detective George Munoz, under the overall supervision of Chief Brian Conroy.
"This defendant has been convicted of making a troubled young woman have sex with dozens of men after 'purchasing' her for $2,000 from an old girlfriend. This is exactly the kind of case that the legislature had in mind when it enacted New York's Sex Trafficking statute two years ago. This office continues to use every tool allowed under the law to prosecute dangerous individuals like this defendant and to seek justice for victims. This defendant deserves a lengthy sentence," DA Brown said.