Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the sentencing of RAYSHON YOUNG, 39, to 5-to-15 years in state prison for forcing a woman to engage in prostitution for nearly a decade. YOUNG used physical violence and threats of violence to not only compel the woman to engage in prostitution, but to attempt to coerce her into relinquishing custody of her child. On July 25, 2017, YOUNG pleaded guilty to Sex Trafficking, the top charge of the New York State Supreme Court indictment against him, as well as Promoting Prostitution in the Third Degree, and Criminal Contempt and Attempted Coercion in the First Degrees.
“For years, Rayshon Young controlled this young woman’s every waking moment by keeping her in constant fear for her life,” said District Attorney Vance. “He inflicted unthinkable violence and abuse on a regular basis, including when she was eight months pregnant, all to protect his profit. Thankfully, this survivor was able to summon the strength to break free and speak out against her trafficker. Because of her courage, he is now behind bars.”
As admitted in the defendant’s guilty plea and stated on the record in court, YOUNG compelled a woman, who was 17 years old when they first met, to engage in prostitution from November 2007 through October 2014. YOUNG forced the victim to turn over all of the money she made, and required her to ask permission before making any purchases. YOUNG frequently physically assaulted her when she did not make enough money or disobeyed his rules, severely beating her numerous times over the course of the indictment. In one instance, he forced the victim – approximately eight months pregnant at the time – to kneel on uncooked rice with her hands above her head for an extended period of time.
In March 2015, after she obtained an Order of Protection against YOUNG in Manhattan Family Court, the defendant sought custody of her child, though he was not the child’s biological father. Five days later, in violation of the Order of Protection, YOUNG approached the victim and threatened to kill her if she did not relinquish her custody rights. YOUNG was arrested the following month at a previously scheduled Family Court appearance.
Assistant District Attorney James Lynch handled the prosecution of the case with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Callagee O’Brien, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Jennifer Dolle, Deputy Chief of the Human Trafficking Response Unit, and Carolina Holderness, Chief of the Human Trafficking Response Unit, as well as Assistant District Attorney Martha Bashford, Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit; Executive Assistant District Attorney Audrey Moore, Chief of the Special Victims Bureau; and Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Senior Investigators Ariela DaSilva and Sean Ryan assisted with the case, as did Investigative Analysts Tate Krasner and Elizabeth MacNeil, and Trial Preparation Assistant Hannah Goodman.
RAYSHON YOUNG, D.O.B. 1/31/1978
New York, NY
- Sex Trafficking, a class B felony, 1 count
- Promoting Prostitution in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
- Criminal Contempt in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
- Attempted Coercion in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
- 5-to-15 years in state prison