The father and son duo charged with forcing women into prostitution for their black-cab sex ring received some curious, colorful support yesterday from those they're accused of abusing. "We are not victims!" shouted one of the five women gathered outside a Manhattan courtroom, all clad in homemade "Free Vincent George Jr. and Sr." T-shirts. "We are a family!" she said. "It's not a crime to have more than one woman in your life. ... And we are all proud to be Georges!" The legal defense is essentially the same.
The Georges were charged in April with sex trafficking, money laundering, and pandering, but not promoting prostitution. "They're unabashedly prostitutes," an attorney for one of the men said yesterday. "They came in and out of Manhattan by themselves, they had their own houses and bank accounts, and they could have left anytime they wanted."
"These women really are in an indentured situation," Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance said at the time of the arrest. His office claims the women were intimidated into sex work and "had no control over their finances, making prostituted victims essentially helpless if they were to attempt to leave the operation," allegations that the prosecution says can be heard on heated wiretaps.
To that, the defense slickly responded, "Hey, there's some fighting on the tapes. But husbands and wives fight, too." Whether sad or just strange, this trial is guaranteed to be a tabloid-ready circus.