WASHINGTON - Corey Davis, the ring-leader of a sex-trafficking ring that spanned at least three states, was sentenced today in federal court in Bridgeport, Conn., on federal civil rights charges for organizing and leading the sex-trafficking operation that exploited as many as 20 women, included minors. Davis was sentenced to 293 months in prison followed by a lifetime term of supervised release. In addition Davis was ordered to pay a fine of $200,000.
In March 2008, Davis pleaded guilty to multiple sex-trafficking charges, including recruiting a girl under the age of 18 to engage in prostitution. During his guilty plea hearing, Davis admitted that he recruited a girl under the age of 18 years to engage in prostitution, that he was the organizer of a sex-trafficking venture, and that he used force, fraud and coercion to compel the victim to commit commercial sex acts from which he obtained the proceeds.
According to the indictment, Davis lured victims to his operation with promises of modeling contracts and a glamorous lifestyle. Davis then forced them into a grueling schedule of dancing and performing at strip clubs in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. When the clubs closed, Davis forced the victims to walk the streets until 4:00 or 5:00 A.M. propositioning customers. The indictment also alleged that Davis beat many of the victims to force them to work for him and that he also used physical abuse as punishment for disobeying the stringent rules he imposed to isolate and control them.
The victims earned up to $5,000 a night in these activities, which Davis confiscated and kept for himself. When arrested in December 2006, Davis was driving a Mercedes Benz, one of several cars that he owned, was wearing a watch appraised at $91,000, and was carrying approximately $30,000 in cash.
"Preying on vulnerable women and girls is not only abhorrent, it is illegal," said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "The Justice Department remains committed to combating all forms of human trafficking, and prosecuting those who seek to profit by exploiting vulnerable members of society."
"The substantial term of imprisonment imposed today is an appropriate one for a defendant who ruthlessly manipulated young women and minors to perform sex acts for his own enrichment," said Nora R. Dannehy, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut. "I want to acknowledge the diligent investigative work of the FBI, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in three states, and the prosecutors involved in this matter whose combined efforts helped to bring this individual to justice. The Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners are committed to taking down similar criminal enterprises, prosecuting those involved, and seeking assistance for their victims."
The prosecution of human trafficking offenses is a top priority of the Justice Department. Since the enactment of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in 2000, human trafficking prosecutions brought by the Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorneys Offices have resulted in a 455 percent increase in defendants charged, and a 581 percent increase in convictions and guilty pleas as compared to the prior eight-year period. In Fiscal Year 2008, the Department filed a record number of both labor trafficking and sex trafficking cases.
This case was investigated by a law enforcement team that was spearheaded by FBI Special Agent Sean O’Malley, who was assisted by IRS Special Agent Colin Burns and the Bridgeport, Stratford, and Milford, Connecticut Police Departments as well as the Connecticut State Police. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney and Criminal Chief Peter S. Jongbloed, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Krishna R. Patel, both from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut, and by Trial Attorney Michael J. Frank from the Civil Rights Division.