Bronx Man Sentenced To 18 Years In Prison For Sex Trafficking Of Minors And Related Offenses
Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that DAVID HOPE, a/k/a “Capo,” was sentenced yesterday to 18 years in prison for running a criminal sex trafficking and prostitution enterprise involving minor girls, as well as possession of child pornography and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. In addition, KEMAR WILLIAMS, a/k/a “K-bag,” a co-defendant in the case, was sentenced yesterday to 42 months in prison for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors with Hope. HOPE and WILLIAMS pled guilty on December 1, 2016, and December 8, 2016, respectively, before United States District Judge Sidney H. Stein, who also imposed yesterday’s sentences.
Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “David Hope sexually exploited and trafficked vulnerable women and minor girls, and Kemar Williams assisted in the exploitation. Hope and Williams used physical violence, weapons, coercion, and intimidation to exert control over their trafficking victims. Both have now received the significant sentences that their crimes deserve.”
According to the Indictment, Complaint, and other documents filed in the case, as well as statements made during the plea and sentencing proceedings:
Since at least 2013, HOPE directed and conducted a criminal sex trafficking and prostitution enterprise (the “Enterprise”) that recruited and exploited minor girls and young women, and then prostituted them using an online classifieds website for his own profit. HOPE, who was wheelchair-bound, operated the Enterprise at his apartment in the Bronx, New York (the “Hope Apartment”), Connecticut, and elsewhere. WILLIAMS participated and engaged in the Enterprise and facilitated the prostitution of minor girls.
HOPE recruited minors who looked up to him to participate in the Enterprise and other criminal activity. HOPE, who was known to carry a firearm, employed myriad tactics – including manipulation, intimidation, coercion, threats, and violence – to recruit and maintain the girls and young women he sold for sex. For example, on at least two occasions, HOPE physically beat one of the adult women he prostituted, and on at least one occasion, threatened that victim with a firearm. At least four minor victims were exploited by HOPE’s Enterprise.
In or about November 2015 when he was arrested, HOPE also possessed on his cellphone a sexually explicit video of one of the minor girls whom he trafficked.
In or about January 2015, HOPE possessed a defaced firearm (the “Firearm”) after he had been previously convicted of a felony crime. Specifically, on January 16, 2015, when New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) officers were executing a search warrant at the Hope apartment, HOPE instructed a minor female to throw the loaded Firearm out the rear window of the HOPE Apartment. Before it was thrown out the window, the Firearm was in the bed where HOPE was sleeping.
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Mr. Kim praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He thanked the NYPD for its assistance throughout the investigation, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut and the Connecticut Child Exploitation Task Force for their assistance with investigating HOPE’s operations in Connecticut. Mr. Kim also thanked the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) and the ATF/NYPD Joint Robbery Task Force (SPARTA) for its assistance in the early stages of the investigation.
Any individuals who believe they have information concerning the exploitation of children may contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 1-212-384-1000 or https://tips.fbi.gov/.
The case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Sagar K. Ravi is in charge of the prosecution.