DA Vance: Sex Trafficker Indicted for Targeting Homeless and Runaway Teens

September 30, 2015

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of MICHAEL LAMB, 33, for operating a sex trafficking and prostitution scheme in New York and New Jersey that preyed upon disadvantaged youth. The defendant is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with Sex Trafficking and Promoting Prostitution in the Third Degree. [1]

“Under New York State law, a minor is incapable of consenting to sexual activity with an adult,” said District Attorney Vance. “And yet, New York is still one of the only states in the nation that requires proof of coercion, force, or fraud to convict an individual accused of trafficking children for sexual purposes. Kids and teens deserve unequivocal protection under the law, and I encourage state legislators to consider amendments to the penal code that reflect the importance of protecting young people from potential predators like this defendant, who allegedly recruited troubled teens from the very place they sought refuge and shelter.”

Covenant House New York Executive Director Creighton Drury said: “Covenant House is extremely grateful to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for their tremendous work in investigating this matter. Pimps and other traffickers make youth who are homeless their number one targets, believing that no one will care when they are exploited, lured in and forced to sell sex. By working together, Covenant House and the Manhattan DA’s Office will do everything we can to protect our youth so that they can have a better chance at a future free from violence and exploitation.”

According to the indictment and documents filed in court, between January 2013 and September 2015, LAMB posted ads on websites such as Backpage and Craigslist, specifically recruiting female individuals staying at Covenant House, a shelter service for runaway and homeless youth in New York and New Jersey. Communicating by email, the defendant asked individuals who responded to the ads to send personal photos of themselves, and advertised his victims for sexual acts on the same sites that he used to recruit them. In some instances, when victims told the defendant that they did not want to work for him, LAMB threatened to expose the victims to their families and friends, referencing sensitive personal information that the victims had not voluntarily shared with the defendant. In other cases, LAMB threatened his victims with physical violence if they refused to comply with his demands. 

Last week, in an unrelated sex trafficking case, a defendant was sentenced to 7-to-14 years in state prison for prostituting young individuals between the ages of 15 and 18 and forcing them to earn money for the defendant by performing sexual acts.

Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Dolle is handling the prosecution of the LAMB case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney John Temple, Chief of the Human Trafficking Response 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 Analyst Samuel Morales, Investigator Miguel Rivera, and Senior Investigator Steven Lane assisted in the investigation.

District Attorney Vance also thanked the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office for assistance with the investigation.

[1] 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.

Defendant Information:

MICHAEL LAMB, D.O.B. 10/28/1981
Essex, NJ


  • Sex Trafficking, a class B felony, 3 counts
  • Promoting Prostitution in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count