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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Individual Arrested On Sex Trafficking And Other Offenses In Connection With Missing Person Corinna Slusser

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced today that ISHI WONEY was charged with sex trafficking and other offenses involving the sexual exploitation of young women.  WONEY was arrested yesterday in New Jersey and will be presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn in federal court in Manhattan this afternoon.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, Ishi Woney engaged in a vile form of exploitation, using force and other coercion to compel young women to engage in paid sex for his enrichment.  We will continue to work with the FBI and NYPD to protect prospective victims of human trafficking and arrest and prosecute their predators.” 

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “As alleged, Woney compelled his victim to engage in prostitution through force and coercion, and he used both this victim and Corinna Slusser, who has been missing since September 2017, in online advertisements promoting prostitution.  Human trafficking is a top priority for the FBI, and, as today’s charges demonstrate, we will continue to aggressively pursue justice for the victims of these heinous crimes.  Ms. Slusser was last seen in Queens, New York, and we ask anyone with information concerning her whereabouts to contact us as 1-800-CALL-FBI or online at tips.fbi.gov.”

NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said:  “Today’s charges further affirm the NYPD’s unwavering commitment to protecting the victims of sex trafficking in and around the five boroughs of New York City.  This crime is among the most heinous in society, and it is our job – and the job of all of our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners – to ensure that anyone who would seek to profit through the abuse and exploitation of another human being be brought to justice swiftly and successfully.  I thank and commend the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District and the FBI for collaborating with us on this critical case.  And we urge anyone who has any information related to this case, or any other, to contact law enforcement.  Together, we will continue to make the safest large city in the nation even safer.”

According to the allegations in the Complaint sworn out in Manhattan federal court:[1] 

Between approximately September 2017 and the present, WONEY engaged in sex trafficking by using force, fraud, and coercion to compel at least one female victim (“Victim-1”) to engage in sex acts in the Bronx and other locations in exchange for money.  WONEY also transported Victim-1 to multiple states, including New York, to engage in prostitution, and purchased online advertisements promoting prostitution, some of which featured Victim-1 and Corinna Slusser, who has been a missing person since September 20, 2017, and was last seen in Queens, New York.  

If you have any information related to the whereabouts of Corinna Slusser, please contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or online at tips.fbi.gov, or the NYPD at 800-577-TIPS.

*                      *                     *

The charges in the Complaint against WONEY, 23, of New York, New York, are included in the chart below.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of FBI and NYPD. 

This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Daniel H. Wolf is in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Count

Charge

Mandatory Minimum Prison Term

Maximum Prison Term

One

Use of an Interstate Facility to  Promote, Manage, and Carry on Prostitution

N/A

5 Years

Two

Mann Act

N/A

10 Years

Three

Sex Trafficking by Means of Force, Threats, Fraud, and Coercion

15 Years

Life

 

 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
18-378
Updated November 2, 2018