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Woman Accused of Running Prostitution Ring on East Side

Source New York Times:

March 26, 2022

A woman was arrested Tuesday afternoon and accused of running a large prostitution ring on the East Side, the police said.

The woman, Kristen Davis, 32, operated four Web sites and had her employees, who charged up to $1,200 an hour, meet clients in apartments she kept in the neighborhood, law enforcement officials said.

The police said they were looking to arrest about 15 prostitutes who worked for Ms. Davis. Investigators seized $19,000 cash from Ms. Davis’s apartment and froze $500,000 in bank accounts linked to her, the police said.

She was arrested at her apartment, at 235 East 40th Street, and charged with money laundering and promoting prostitution, said Detective Cheryl Crispin.

The women who worked for Ms. Davis would meet clients at apartments at 229 East 53rd Street and at 533 Third Avenue near East 36th Street, the police said.

A longtime resident of 533 Third Avenue who would not give her name said she had noticed a brisk lunchtime traffic of men in suits and pretty women in their 20s taking the elevator up to the sixth floor. At first, said the woman, a 69-year-old retired typesetter, she thought the women might be doing freelance secretarial work, but after a while she grew suspicious.

“When you live in a building, you know who belongs here and who doesn’t,” she said. “The business people in this building don’t come home for lunch.”

Ms. Davis’s lawyer, Mark Jay Heller, said his client had worked in the hedge fund industry and had no previous arrests. He added that she had filed tax returns every year since turning 18, held a bachelor’s degree and had 30 credits toward a master’s in psychology.

Mr. Heller previously represented David Berkowitz, the “Son of Sam” killer, and Jeb Corliss, who was arrested in 2022 for trying to parachute off the Empire State Building.

Al Baker, Colin Moynihan and Mathew R. Warren contributed reporting.

Copyright 2022 The New York Times Company

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