QUEENS DA’S OFFICE SECURES GUILTY PLEA FOR TWO TRAFFICKERS; DEFENDANTS FORCED TEENAGE GIRLS INTO SEX INDUSTRY
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Lawrence Winslow and Alan Velvett each pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a child and rape for forcing three underage victims into the sex industry in February 2021. One of the victims was also coerced into having intercourse with both defendants.
District Attorney Katz said: “I created the Human Trafficking Bureau to remove the most unscrupulous and callous predators from our communities and we will continue to be relentless in this mission. In pleading guilty, these defendants admitted responsibility and now face serious prison time.”
Winslow, 28, of East High Street in Coaldale, Penn., and Velvett, 29, of Roscoe Street in Jamaica, Queens, each pleaded guilty yesterday before Queens Supreme Court Judge Peter Vallone, Jr. to three counts of sex trafficking of a child and one count of rape in the first degree. Justice Vallone indicated that he will sentence both defendants on January 12 to 10 years in prison, to be followed by 10 years post release supervision. Winslow and Velvett will also be required to register as sex offenders upon release.
According to the charges, in February 2021, the defendants met two teenage victims, aged 13 and 14, at La Quinta Inn on Queens Boulevard. The defendants took nude photos of the youngsters and posted the images online, stating that the girls were “for sale.” One of the teenagers had sex with a stranger and the defendants kept every dollar from the exchange.
DA Katz said that same week, Winslow and Velvett met a 15-year-old victim at the La Quinta Inn where she was told she would engage in sex for cash. Winslow took semi-nude photos of the child and posted them as online advertisements. The victim was then forced to have sex with Winslow, followed by a string of strangers. Every dollar from those proceeds were pocketed both defendants.
Afterwards, the victim was relocated to the JFK Inn, where she was forced to have intercourse with Velvett, followed by another string of strangers. All the proceeds from the exchange with strangers were kept by the defendants.
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.
The investigation was conducted by Detectives Antonio Pagan and Elizabeth Gonzalez, New York City Police Department’s Human Trafficking Squad, under the supervision of Sergeant Robert Duplessis, Lieutenant Amy Capogna, Captain Thomas Milano and under the overall supervision of Inspector Carlos Ortiz.
Assistant District Attorney Kiran Cheema, of the District Attorney’s Human Trafficking Bureau is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Trial Prep Assistants Hailey Behl and Bianca Suazo, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Jessica Melton, Bureau Chief, Tara DiGregorio, Deputy Chief and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Gerard A. Brave.