Father-and-son pimp duo acquitted of sex-trafficking charges

NBC News - A father and son who ran a prostitution ring in New York were acquitted of sex-trafficking charges Wednesday.

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

NBC News – A father and son who ran a prostitution ring in New York were acquitted of sex-trafficking charges Wednesday after three out of the five prostitutes who worked for them testified in their defense.

Vincent George Sr. and his son, Vincent George Jr., were convicted on charges of money laundering by Judge Ruth Pickholz.

New York District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. said, “The goal of this prosecution was to dismantle a profitable criminal enterprise from the top down, addressing both supply and demand.”

“The felony convictions today achieve that goal,” Vance said in a press release.

Despite the mixed verdict, attorneys for George Sr. and George Jr. also believed they had a victory in court Wednesday. “I called this verdict before the trial started and I’m thrilled,” said George Sr.’s attorney, Howard Greenberg.

“The fact is that no girl was forced to do this,” he added.

The three women who testified for the defense said they had a good lifestyle and loved the Georges, according to George Jr.’s attorney, David Epstein. He said one of the women, Danielle Geissler, has been with George Jr. for 14 years and had a child with him. “They’re like a family,” said Epstein, adding: “obviously, a non-traditional family.”

The DA discounted the women’s testimonies by calling Chitra Raghavan, a psychologist, to the stand.

Epstein said the psychologist “said that people in these relationships are under a spell of the quote, unquote abuser.” He said he found the doctor’s analysis to be “anti-feminist” because it implied women cannot make their own choices.

Desiree Ellis, center, was one of the prostitutes who testified on the Georges’ behalf. She is being comforted by a supporter outside of a courthouse in New York after a mixed verdict was delivered in the trial of Vincent George Sr. and his son, Vincent George Jr., who were found guilty of promoting prostitution and money laundering, but acquitted of sex trafficking.

Epstein also said the DA had tapped the phones of the prostitutes and the Georges for five months. “They basically took the worst of the worst of the phone calls, where someone was agitated or in a bad mood, and they used those tapes to try to give the impression that these women were being forced to work,” he said.

According to a press release from the DA’s office, the trial proved that the women traveled from Pennsylvania to New York for “many years” and performed sex acts for sums ranging from $200 to $500.

Click here to read more.