QUEENS, NY (PIX11) – A man allegedly forced a homeless woman into prostitution, aided by a hotel worker, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz has said. Both suspects face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Adam “Damian” Lee, 29, and Ida Copeland, 35, face charges of sex trafficking, promoting prostitution and other crimes for allegedly forcing a homeless woman into prostitution throughout the county. of Queens. Lee faces additional charges of rape, sexual abuse and assault.
According to Katz, the crimes began after the 35-year-old homeless woman allegedly told Copeland, a hotel worker, on January 1 that she could no longer afford to stay at the hotel. Later, Lee reportedly showed up at the woman’s doorstep and told her he had been sent by Copeland.
Afterwards, Lee told the woman she “worked for him” and told her to put on “sexy” clothes, Katz said. When she refused, he pulled out a gun and forced her to take sexual photos for commercials.
The woman was first brought to a residence on January 5 – Katz said a man at the residence paid Lee, who waited outside while the victim and the man were inside of the House. At one point, the client got angry and refused to let the victim go, prompting Lee to break down the door and drag the victim out of the house.
When the victim was alone with Copeland after the incident, she claimed she was assaulted by Lee. In response, Copeland reportedly said the victim had to “take care of him” and “keep him happy” by meeting his quotas.
Later that month, on January 15, Lee reportedly took the woman to meet a man for sex. The next day, she was allegedly taken to a hotel, also for the purpose of having sex with a client.
At some point, Lee allegedly got angry with the victim and started destroying the hotel room. In the process, Lee allegedly punched the victim in the head, giving him a black eye. He is later accused of sexually assaulting and raping her.
The woman managed to call the police after the incident and was taken to a nearby hospital in Queens for treatment.
“As alleged, both defendants in this case exploited the situation of the victim to their own advantage. The victim, who was homeless, was forced to sell sex for money – money that defendant Lee collected and kept for himself,” Katz said. “Additionally, these defendants are charged with abusing the hotel employee’s position to target victims of sex trafficking.”
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