A man named Vincent George (a.k.a. "Vee") and his son Vincent Jr. (a.k.a. "King Koby") have been charged with sex trafficking, money laundering, and prostitution for allegedly running a mobile escort service, Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance announced today. Six livery drivers have pleaded not guilty to promoting prostitution charges, while the women involved are reportedly being treated as victims. "As is typical in domestic sex trafficking cases, the trafficked victims were required to turn over all prostitution proceeds directly to their traffickers, who doled out only a few dollars a night to buy food and other necessities," said Vance in a statement. "As a result, the women had no control over their finances, making prostituted victims essentially helpless if they were to attempt to leave the operation."
The New York Post reports that the business operated for two decades, forcing the women, potentially including George's own daughter, to pose as "professional masseuses" and find customers in high-end hotels and outside of strip clubs. "These women really are in an indentured situation," said Vance, adding that the men "branded victims with tattoos depicting their street names," and in at least one case, a bar code.
The DA threatened that clients could still be charged as well: "We are also taking on the demand side," Vance said, "to make the point that buying sex may involve victims of sex trafficking."