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New York City man indicted on multiple sex trafficking charges: DA

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A New York City man was indicted for allegedly forcing a 17-year-old girl into prostitution as well as running a sex trafficking and prostitution scheme with multiple young women over the course of a year.

Arthur Dawson, 28, was charged with multiple counts of sex trafficking, rape, strangulation, promoting prostitution and conspiracy. 

“This horrific case illustrates why my Office fought so hard for the passage of the Child Sex Trafficking Act last year,” said District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. “As alleged, this defendant recruited a child, sold her on street corners, and raped her when she asked for a portion of the money she was paid for sex acts. Our laws finally reflect the reality that we see in this case: child prostitution is not only despicable, it is sex trafficking, plain and simple.”

According to charges, in April 2019 Dawson and another individual allegedly conspired to traffic a 17-year-old girl and made contact to her through Facebook’s messaging service. Dawson and the other individual allegedly compelled her to perform commercial sex acts at locations throughout New York City and directed her to stand in the street waiting for cars in order to engage in prostitution over the course of several weeks. They then allegedly forced her to hand over all of the money she made.

In one instance, after she asked for a portion of the money she had been paid to perform sexual acts, Dawson allegedly forcibly raped and strangled the victim.

It is also alleged that between July 2018 and October 2019, Dawson and the other individual conspired to promote the prostitution of multiple young women. In one instance, Dawson allegedly trafficked one woman by forcing her to engage in prostitution under threat of physical force against her and her family. He allegedly forced her to follow a set of rules, including not limited to not talking to other men who were promoting prostitution and asking any car that stopped to speak to her whether they were law enforcement.

On one occasion, Dawson allegedly prevented this same woman from seeing her children unless she made a certain amount of money by engaging in prostitution. In another incident, Dawson allegedly forced the woman to engage in sex acts in order to repay money she had earned in prostitution and that had been taken when she was robbed by another individual.

I thank the prosecutors in my Office for securing this indictment on behalf of this 17-year-old, as well as, the multiple women Dawson and his co-conspirator allegedly trafficked,” said DA Vance. “The threats, rules, and isolation they employed are hallmarks of sex trafficking, and together with our partners in the NYPD, we have put this violent operation to an end.”

Emily Davenport