It couldn’t have happened to nicer guys.
On Monday, a New York judge sentenced father and son pimps, who lived with several women in Allentown, to three to nine years in prison for money laundering and promoting prostitution. One of the women wept.
Too bad it couldn’t have been longer. Vincent George Sr. and Vincent George Jr. had also faced sex-trafficking charges, and evidence included wiretapped conversations during which they threatened the women in their household with beatings if they didn’t earn enough or if they showed up late.
Yet the women, like children whose abusive parents are the only parents they know, defended them, denying that they were coerced into sex or forced to turn over their earnings. They described a life with Florida vacations, saying they lived together as “family” in the Allentown house. They drove into New York City at night for sex of their own free will, they said.
Evidence showed that the women pulled in as much as $500,000 a year. But none of them had her own bank account. Instead, records show the men laundered millions through music recording and car service businesses.
The tragedy of prostitution is the cavalier and often vicious misuse of society’s most vulnerable by predatory men, by both the johns and the men who act as pimps. The judge did not convict the Georges of sex trafficking, but the sheer amount of money the men concealed provides a glimpse into how lucrative the sex trade was for the pair, anyway.
Publishing the names of johns, as some communities do, may curb prostitution, but the world’s oldest profession probably will be around forever, the last resort of desperate women and homeless teens.
Here’s hoping that during the years this diabolical father and son are in jail the members of their “family” find safer, legitimate work. Or that they at least eventually acknowledge their own exploitation and try to avoid it in future.