News & Politics

Sex Worker Breaks Legs and Back Escaping Enslavement

Prosecutors charge two men of kidnapping and raping a New York City sex worker for two days in two apartments.

Prosecutors have charged two men of kidnapping and raping a New York City sex worker for two days in two apartments before she escaped from a sixth-story window, breaking her both her legs and back in the process.

The 28-year-old woman reportedly visited the apartment of Benjamin Gaston for an escort call on November 12, 2012. When she arrived, Gaston stole her cell phone, money and identification. Prosecutors allege that Gaston proceeded to hit the woman and hold a pillow over her face, saying, “You’re not leaving the apartment — you’re working for me and making me money.”

Gaston allegedly brought the woman to his friend Johnny Jackson’s apartment the next day, where at least six men were waiting to rape her. In a statement, Jackson essentially says his complicity goes as far as offering his apartment for kidnapping in rape: “A guy I know as Mike asked me if he could use my spare room to run his girl out of and make some money. I told him he could use the room in my apartment and he agreed to give me part of the profit.”

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Jackson says the woman was “OK” with it, and that “She didn’t want to leave.” Jezebel’s Laura Beck noted the absurdity of that claim, writing, “Yes, she obviously so didn't want to leave that she broke her legs and back falling from a sixth floor window trying to escape.”

In an outrageous statement, Jackson’s lawyer said, “My client is an honorably discharged Marine - that's all I feel comfortable saying right now.”

While the defendants try to minimize the severity of their alleged crimes, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. summarized the horror of the case.

“The facts of this crime are truly heinous,” said Vance Jr., “These defendants are accused of holding a woman hostage in order to essentially enslave and prostitute her.”

[h/t Jezebel]

Steven Hsieh is an editorial assistant at AlterNet and writer based in Brooklyn. Follow him on Twitter @stevenjhsieh.