The New York County (Manhattan) District Attorney's Office

01/25/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/25/2023 11:53

D.A. Bragg: Arthur Dawson Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison for Raping, Trafficking 17-year-old; Trafficking 18-year-old

January 25, 2023

Sentencing Follows First-Ever Convictions for Sex Trafficking of a Child in New York State

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg today announced the sentencing of ARTHUR DAWSON, 31, to 50 years in state prison for using physical violence and other forms of coercion to force young women and children to engage in prostitution. Following a month-long trial in New York State Supreme Court, DAWSON and co-defendant DANIEL WASHINGTON, 35, were convicted by a jury of Sex Trafficking of a Child, Promoting Prostitution, and Conspiracy, among other charges, in July 2022. The trial convictions for Sex Trafficking of a Child were the first in New York State after the penal law was enacted - following extensive advocacy by the Manhattan D.A.'s Office - in June 2018. WASHINGTON was sentenced on November 28, 2022, to 25 years in state prison.

"Arthur Dawson ranks among the most violent traffickers this Office has ever prosecuted," said D.A. Bragg. "Along with Daniel Washington, Dawson operated a horrific enterprise recruiting girls and young women to work in prostitution for their personal gain. They used violence and threats to keep these women under their control, even forbidding one from seeing her infant son if she did not earn enough money. I am in awe of the strength of these young survivors to take the stand and testify to these deeply traumatic events, and sincerely thank them for their bravery. And I thank the prosecutors in my Office's Human Trafficking Response Unit who advocated for the passage of the Child Sex Trafficking Act, who became the first in the state to secure a conviction under that law, and who fight for survivors each and every day."

As proven at trial, DAWSON and WASHINGTON used online advertisements and social media to recruit more than 20 young women and girls to work in their prostitution operation over the course of two years. DAWSON and WASHINGTON trafficked a 17-year-old and DAWSON trafficked an 18-year-old by compelling them to continue to engage in prostitution through threats, physical violence, and other forms of coercion.

DAWSON acted as the enforcer of his many rules, accompanying the women and ensuring they gave the money they earned to him. When the 17-year-old survivor asked for half of the money she received from a client at a hotel, DAWSON refused, and when she continued to argue with him, DAWSON raped her - while choking her - in the stairwell of a nearby building.

DAWSON coerced the 18-year-old survivor to continue in prostitution by using her infant son as a pawn. If she did not make the minimum quota he set for her, DAWSON forbade her from seeing her son. When the 18-year-old attempted to leave the operation, DAWSON threatened to shoot her and her entire family.

At DAWSON and WASHINGTON's trial, the Manhattan D.A.'s Office's Human Trafficking Response Unit presented thousands of pages of Facebook messages and posts, reconstructed prostitution advertisements, recorded Department of Correction calls, and a 911 call. Both of the survivors testified, as did investigators, analysts, NYPD officers, and others. The jury convicted the defendants of all of the counts in the indictment against them - including Sex Trafficking of a Child, a first in New York State.

Assistant D.A.s Neil Greenwell and Paul Barker handled the prosecution of this case under the supervision of Assistant D.A. Pierre Griffith (Deputy Chief of the Human Trafficking Response Unit), and Assistant D.A. Justin McNabney (Chief of the Special Victims Division). Investigative Analysts Janine Nassar and Olivia Kramer and Senior Investigators Ariela DaSilva and Sean Ryan assisted with the prosecution.

Defendant Information:
ARTHUR DAWSON
Bronx, NY

Convicted:

  • Sex Trafficking of a Child, a class B felony, one count
  • Sex Trafficking, a class B felony, two counts
  • Rape in the First Degree, a class B felony, one count
  • Promoting Prostitution in the Third Degree, a class D felony, two counts
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, one count
  • Criminal Obstruction of Breathing, an A misdemeanor, one count

Sentenced:

  • 50 years in state prison
  • 25 years post-release supervision

DANIEL WASHINGTON
Bronx, NY

Convicted:

  • Sex Trafficking of a Child, a class B felony, one count
  • Promoting Prostitution in the Third Degree, a class D felony, one count
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, one count

Sentenced:

  • 25 years in state prison
  • 5 years' post-release supervision

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