In what one can easily describe as anti-climactic after the imposition of more than a million dollars bail, the 50 Shades of Grey-worthy prosecution of Anna Gristina has evidently left law enforcement clamoring for more salacious prosecutions. Fortunately, law enforcement can satisfy this empty void with the arrest of alleged pimp William Thomas. While pursuing crimes in the “streets as well as the suites” has apparently changed to crimes in “streets as well as the sheets,” not all escort related arrests are treated the same. In fact, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office secured a more reasonable and appropriate $10,000 bail for Thomas after his arrest for Promoting Prostitution.
According to the New York Post, an undercover police officer (who likely protested that he was assigned to the hard work of masquerading as a “John” pursuing a fetish for attractive Asian women instead of taking guns and drugs off the streets), met with Thomas after searching for escorts through www.E4AKorea.com and www.E4ANYC.com. It was through these websites that the NYPD and Manhattan prosecutors claim that Thomas advertised services of his nubile associates for up to $300 an hour.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and his prosecutors believe that Thomas was far from a one trick pony and offered a variety of services at numerous Gotham locations including Maiden Lane, East 50th Street, West 36th Street and East 58th Street. Further, it is alleged that Thomas offered services for clients overseas as well. Whether the undercover police officer protested his assignment too much or it was determined that pursuing these offenses abroad was not worthy of City and State dollars, the investigation by the NYPD did not leave New York.
Concentrating their efforts locally, it is alleged that Jung Lee and Rei Spain assisted Thomas in this prostitution enterprise. It is believed that these two individuals offered services of Korean and Japanese women. While Lee is alleged to have offered the complete sexual package, Spain’s girls would only provide massages with a notorious “happy ending” for an extra $40 spot.
It is not clear from news coverage whether or not any girls / prostitutes were arrested or whether any Johns are being investigated or pursued for their acts. Having said that, because the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has aggressively prosecuted those who solicit sex and the unrelated Maine zumba instructor Alexis Wright’s “black book” could likely damage some marriages, the men who utilized www.E4AKorea.com and www.E4ANYC.com have reason to be concerned.
For the time being, however, those who face the most serious crimes are Thomas, Lee and Spain. It appears that these defendants are charged with Third Degree Promoting Prostitution, a “D” felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. Assuming prosecutors can prove these cases beyond a reasonable doubt, prosecutors must first establish that these individuals profited from prostitution by managing or supervising a “house of prostitution” or an enterprise utilizing two or more prostitutes. There are certainly other offenses that could be charged, such as Money Laundering and Enterprise Corruption, depending on the evidence. These crimes are potentially more significant.
As for the John’s, only time will tell as to whether they are arrested, interviewed or law enforcement can even identify them.
To learn more about crimes in New York involving escorts, prostitution and related offenses, review the content at Saland Law PC’s Escort Services, Prostitution and Unlicensed Massage webpage.
Saland Law PC is a New York criminal defense firm founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors. The New York criminal lawyers at Saland Law PC represent clients in criminal investigations, arrests and trials throughout the New York City area.