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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.
Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.
In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.
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Human trafficking is a grave issue in New York, as per the 2018 Annual Report by New York State Interagency Task Force Report on Human Trafficking, 1,252 victims of Human Trafficking were identified in New York in 2018. A staggering 64% of these confirmed victims were identified as victims of Sex Trafficking, while 20% were victims of both Sex Trafficking and Labor Trafficking, and the remaining 16% were only victims of Labor Trafficking. Geographically, 43% of the confirmed victims were from New York City, 40% from Upstate, and the remaining 17% were from the Metro Area, which includes counties such as Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester.
The New York State Attorney General’s Office and the District Attorney’s Offices have been taking a more proactive role in prosecuting New York Sex Trafficking charges. To do so, they have been working alongside law enforcement agencies such as the New York State Police, the New York City Police Department, and various federal agencies. The Attorney General’s Office has even established an Upstate Task Force that focuses solely on investigating and prosecuting sex traffickers.
Investigations into New York Sex Trafficking Charges often involve multiple law enforcement agencies, and sometimes, investigations conducted by local and state law enforcement may be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, depending on whether there is an interstate transportation of an individual for the purposes of prostitution. However, some federal investigations are handled by the state prosecutors.
Under a federal law called the Mann Act, it is illegal to transport an individual across state lines for the purpose of engaging in prostitution. Federal Human Trafficking Laws are located in 18 United States Code Section 1580, which prohibits kidnapping and holding or selling a person into indentured servitude. In addition, The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act of 2000 (TVPA) also allows for the prosecution of human trafficking as a federal crime, subject to severe penalties.
New York law also criminalizes Sex Trafficking under PL 230.34. To be convicted of this charge, one must intentionally advance or profit from prostitution while also committing one of several qualifying offenses such as providing narcotic drugs or forcing a person to engage in prostitution activity. Additionally, using force or engaging in a pattern of instilling fear in the person being patronized are also qualifying offenses.
Furthermore, the New York Sex Trafficking statute contains two defenses, which include that taking away someone’s passport is not a crime if done to correct a social security number or another immigration agency record. The other defense is if the defendant reasonably believed that the threatened charge was true and their purpose was to induce the victim to take reasonable action to right the wrong, which was the subject of a threatened charge.
The punishment for New York Sex Trafficking, a Class B violent felony, is 5 to 25 years in prison, and the offender is also subject to SORA Registration. There is also a separate New York Sex Trafficking charge for trafficking children, which is a Class B Felony with a similar punishment range and also subject to SORA Registration. An individual can be charged with both New York Sex Trafficking and New York Sex Trafficking of a child if the conduct satisfies the elements of both crimes.
Two high-profile cases provide an example of the severity of these charges. In one case, the New York County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted Arthur Dawson for a child trafficking conspiracy of a 17-year-old for the purposes of the prosecution. In the second case, Abiodun Adeleke was convicted by a jury in Suffolk County
The bustling streets of New York City have long been a symbol of opportunity and prosperity. However, lurking in the shadows of the city that never sleeps lies a dark and sinister problem that has only been getting worse.
Melanie’s Tragic Tale
Melanie Thompson was just 12 years old when she first became a victim of sex trafficking. One day, while walking through the streets of Queens with her two best friends, Melanie’s innocence was snatched away by two boys from her neighborhood. The boys gave the girls alcohol, and before long, Melanie was blacking out. When she came to, her two friends were gone, and she was being raped by one of the boys. This was just the beginning of her traumatic journey.
Melanie was moved to an abandoned house and locked in a closet with no escape. She was subjected to unspeakable acts of violence, such as having cigarettes burnt on her face, and she was threatened with violence against herself and her family. The older man who had taken her had made it clear that she was now his property, and her life would never be the same again.
The Unfortunate RealitySadly, Melanie’s story is not unique. Human trafficking has become the fastest-growing criminal activity in the US, with sexual violence and trafficking on the rise in and around New York City. Women and girls, particularly those from vulnerable households or foster care, are the largest group that are sex trafficked in New York.
According to Dorchen Leidholdt, the director of the Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services at Sanctuary for Families, there has been a very high degree of human trafficking taking place in the state. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made the situation worse, with the number of people being trafficked increasing. As more people lose their jobs and find themselves in poverty, more victims are trapped by their abusers.
The Need for ActionDespite the severity of the problem, law enforcement has been slow to act. The New York Police Department (NYPD) is failing to enforce the state’s laws, allowing the sex trafficking industry to flourish. This lack of enforcement has led to an increase in pimps trafficking children living in foster care homes.
At Spodek Law Group, our attorney Todd Spodek is committed to fighting for the rights of victims of human trafficking. We believe that everyone deserves justice, and we work tirelessly to ensure that our clients get the support and help they need to heal and move forward. Together, we can make a difference and put an end to this terrible problem.
The Final WordHuman trafficking is a scourge on society that must be eradicated. At Spodek Law Group, we will not rest until justice is served for every victim of this heinous crime. With the right support and advocacy, we can create a world where everyone is free from the horrors of trafficking and exploitation.
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