Queens Man Found Guilty in White Plains Federal Court of Sex Trafficking Across Four States and the District of Columbia
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 03, 2012|
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Nicholas Alvarez, of Queens, New York, was found guilty today in White Plains federal court of sex trafficking by force and transporting women between New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, and Virginia for the purpose of engaging in prostitution. Alvarez was convicted after a two-week jury trial before United States District Judge Vincent L. Briccetti.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated, “Sex trafficking is a crime of pandemic proportions—it deprives women and girls of their freedoms and consigns them to lives filled with abuse. Today’s conviction of Nicholas Alvarez is a victory for the women he exploited and tormented and for the larger fight to halt this heinous crime.”
According to the complaint and superseding indictment filed in White Plains federal court and the evidence presented at trial:
Between at least December 2010 and February 3, 2011, Alvarez forced women to work for him as prostitutes, luring them with false promises of protection and financial security. He then transported and exploited his victims as prostitutes throughout the Eastern United States, including in Pennsylvania; Chicago, Illinois; Hampton, Virginia; Southern and Northern New Jersey; and Westchester and Queens, New York.
Shortly after the victims began working for Alvarez, he started abusing them physically and psychologically to compel them to continue to engage in prostitution for his financial benefit. The physical abuse he inflicted included slapping, punching, striking with a baseball bat, and forced exposure, while naked, to extremely cold temperatures. The psychological abuse included degrading slurs, insults, and constant threats of violence to both the victims and their families if they did not continue working for him.
On February 3, 2011, Alvarez was arrested following a routine traffic stop by the Westchester Police while in a vehicle with three women.
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Alvarez, 36, of Queens, New York, was found guilty of transporting women across state lines to engage in prostitution; two counts of persuading women to travel interstate to engage in prostitution; and two counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion. Alvarez was acquitted on one count of persuading a woman to travel to engage in prostitution; two counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion; and one count of kidnapping. He faces a mandatory minimum term of 15 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison.
Mr. Bharara praised the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Westchester County Department of Public Safety for their work in this case.
This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Natalie Lamarque, Kathryn Martin, and Andrew Bauer are in charge of the prosecution.