BY GABE HERMAN | A sex trafficker was sentenced to 10 years in prison for trafficking two young women in his Harlem house, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. announced on Thursday.
Charles White, 39, was also sentenced to five years of post-release supervision for the trafficking that occurred over the course of two years, starting in 2016.
White pleaded guilty on Aug. 8 this year to two counts of sex trafficking. Co-defendant Jason Walden, 33, pleaded guilty that same day to one count of attempted sex trafficking. Walden was sentenced on Sept. 5 to eight years in prison and five years of post-release supervision.
According to their guilty pleas, the two men trafficked two women, who suffered from opioid addictions, at a Harlem house on West 129th St., nicknamed as “the White House.”
During the two year period, the two men and their associates posted ads on Backpage.com, according to the guilty pleas, and forced the women into prostitution with up to 15 men each night. The two women were from small cities outside of New York State, and were kept in dangerous conditions in the house, without heat and basic hygiene products. They were given drugs, including cocaine, to keep them awake and alert for responding to calls at all hours.
If the women ever resisted, Walden and White assaulted them, according to their guilty pleas and as stated on the record in court. This included beatings with whips and belts, causing serious injuries, including permanent hearing loss for one of the women after Walden hit her on the side of the head when she refused to perform a sex act on someone.
“Traffickers target those who live on the margins of our communities,” said District Attorney Vance. “These defendants preyed on women who struggled with substance use disorders, capitalizing on their vulnerabilities and use of opioids to force them into prostitution for the defendants’ financial gain.
“This case illustrates our Human Trafficking Response Unit’s approach to justice for sex trafficking survivors,” Vance added. “In addition to holding traffickers responsible for their horrific conduct, we also provide critical services to survivors as they recover their lives.”
The case was brought to light by an NYPD undercover operation. The DA’s Human Trafficking Response Unit then provided support for the victims that included referrals for substance abuse treatment and housing assistance, while also building their case against the two men.