DA KATZ: TWO MEN INDICTED ON SEX TRAFFICKING CHARGES FOR FORCING TEENAGE GIRLS INTO SEX INDUSTRY
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Lawrence Winslow and Alan Velvett have been indicted twice by a Queens County grand jury and arraigned in Supreme Court on kidnapping, sex trafficking, rape and other charges. The defendants allegedly coerced a 15-year-old girl to trade sex for cash for three days in February 2021 in two hotels in Queens in one case. In the second case, the defendants are accused of trafficking two other teens 13, and 14, and posting nude images of the victims online and stating that they were “for sale.”
District Attorney Katz said, “This case is the latest example of why I established the Human Trafficking Bureau when I became DA. These three teenage victims were allegedly forced to trade sex for cash with strangers and the 14-year-old was coerced into having intercourse with both defendants.”
Winslow, 27, of East High Street in Coaldale, Penn., was arraigned on April 14, 2021, before Queens Acting Supreme Court Justice Peter Vallone Jr., on a 28-count indictment. Velvett, 27, of Roscoe Street in Jamaica, Queens, was arraigned on March 17th before Justice Vallone on the same indictment. The two men are charged with kidnapping in the first and second degree, sex trafficking of a child, sex trafficking, compelling prostitution, rape in the first and third degree and other crimes. Justice Vallone ordered the defendants to return to Court on June 9, 2021. If convicted, Winslow and Velvett each face up to life in prison.
Both Winslow and Velvett were also arraigned today on a 13-count indictment before Justice Vallone. This indictment charges the two men with sex trafficking of a child, sex trafficking, promoting prostitution in the first, second and third degree, endangering the welfare of a child, attempted sex trafficking of a child and attempted promoting prostitution in the first and second degree. If convicted on these charges, the defendants face up to 25 years in prison.
According to first indictment, in February 2021, the 15-year-old victim met the defendants at the La Quinta Inn on Queens Boulevard where she was told she would engage in sex for cash. Winslow paid for two rooms at the hotel and took semi-nude photos of the child and posted online advertisements of the child. Both Velvett’s and Winslow’s cell phone numbers were used with the ads.
DA Katz said, before the victim had sex with strangers, she was first allegedly forced to have sex with defendant Winslow – twice. That was followed by a string of strangers who had intercourse with the girl and every dollar was pocketed by the defendants.
After February 17, 2021, as outlined in the charges, defendant Velvett relocated the victim to the JFK Inn. At this new spot, defendant Lawrence joined his co-defendant and the victim was again forced to have sex with strangers for cash. Defendant Velvett also coerced the girl to have sexual intercourse with him.
The teenager was rescued when an undercover police officer responded to the online ad and met with the girl in person at one of the hotel rooms. Velvett was arrested after arriving in the room. Winslow was arrested after being found in the second hotel room across the hall. At the time, Winslow had $872 in cash in his wallet.
In the second case, the two teens met Winslow at the La Quinta Inn where the defendant allegedly took nude photos of the youngsters. When the defendant posted the images online, he stated aloud that the girls were “for sale.” One of the teenagers had sex with a stranger and the defendants again kept every dollar from the exchange.
The investigation was conducted by Detectives Antonio Pagan and Elizabeth Gonzalez, of the New York City Police Department’s Vice Enforcement Human Trafficking Division, under the supervision of Sergeant Robert Duplessis, Lieutenant Amy Capogna, Captain Thomas Milano and under the overall supervision of Inspector Neteis Gilbert.
Assistant District Attorney Kiran Cheema, of the District Attorney’s Human Trafficking Bureau, is prosecuting the case with the assistance of trial preparation assistants Marcela Sanchez and Roxana Comanescu, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Jessica Melton, Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Gerard A. Brave.
**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.