Defendant Advertised Victims on Backpage.com
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of NETER KAMANI, a/k/a “Prince,” a/k/a “Prince Johnson,” a/k/a “Prince International,” 52, for recruiting young women and girls from out-of-state for a prostitution and sex trafficking operation he ran out of a Brooklyn apartment from December 2014 through August 2017. The defendant is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with two counts of Sex Trafficking, two counts of Promoting Prostitution in the Second Degree, and one count of Promoting Prostitution in the Third Degree.
“The alleged recruitment, manipulation, and forced prostitution of young women in this case illustrates the disturbing reality of sex trafficking in New York City,” said District Attorney Vance. “It is hard to overstate the magnitude of this ongoing problem, particularly when this illicit market is fueled by websites that make the buying and selling of trafficked individuals easier than ever. While great strides have been made in the fight against human trafficking – including the recent shuttering of Backpage.com and the passage of the FOSTA/SESTA online trafficking bill – we have much more work to do. I urge anyone who may be a victim of trafficking or who knows someone who may be a victim to call my Office’s human trafficking hotline at 212-335-3400. Help is available for those in need.”
According to the indictment and statements made on the record in court, from December 2014 through August 2017, KAMANI used social media, text messages, and emails to recruit girls and young women from New York, Delaware, North Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. KAMANI wired money to the victims through Western Union to pay for their bus tickets to New York, where they stayed with him in a Brooklyn apartment. He posted nude photographs of the women on Backpage, and sent the victims to hotels and homes across New York City to perform sexual services for profit.
As part of his alleged prostitution and sex trafficking operation, KAMANI demanded that the victims hand over all of the money that they made and follow a strict set of rules, including only wearing clothing he approved, and solely referring to each other by prostitution nicknames. He restricted the women’s ability to freely travel and communicate by taking away all of their cash and forms of identification, and occasionally their cell phones. In one instance, KAMANI told a 19-year-old victim there would be “consequences” if she did not work for him, and threatened to kill her if she told anyone. In another, KAMANI told an 18-year-old victim that she would not be allowed to eat until she worked for him.
The investigation – which began after two of KAMANI’s victims flagged down police officers at the Port Authority Bus Terminal – revealed that the defendant prostituted at least ten young women over the course of the indictment, including two girls under the age of 18.
Assistant D.A. Alex Guiterman is handling the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant D.As Jennifer Dolle, Deputy Chief of the Human Trafficking Response Unit, and Carolina Holderness, Chief of the Human Trafficking Response Unit, and Executive Assistant D.As Audrey Moore, Chief of the Special Victims Bureau, and John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Supervising Investigator Elena Lui, Senior Investigators Ariela DaSilva and Sean Ryan, and Investigative Analyst Rebecca Rubinstein provided valuable assistance with the case.
District Attorney Vance also thanked the Port Authority Police Department for its assistance with the investigation, particularly Police Officers Sean Gallagher and Jack Collins.
 The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.
- Sex Trafficking, a class B felony, 2 counts
- Promoting Prostitution in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
- Promoting Prostitution in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count