Joseph Harris, a 41-year-old Brooklyn resident, was recently sentenced to 21 years in prison after allegedly forcing numerous victims into a sex trafficking ring. Per court records, Harris, who also goes by several aliases like “Joey Moscato” and “Luis Santana”, committed the crimes between July of 2017 and May of 2018.
He reportedly used threats, coercion, and violence to force his victims into committing commercial sex acts for his own financial gain.
Authorities first became aware of the horrific situation when they received a 911 call from girls being held in Harris’s apartment. Police rushed out to the residence where they discovered multiple females, including a 16-year-old minor, being held in the apartment. They also found a loaded handgun, hotel recipes, handwritten instructions describing how the women should post commercial sex advertisements, and even a birth certificate for a 17-year-old female.
An investigation immediately ensued as police helped rescue several women. Soon, it was discovered that Harris was using extreme force and threats to make women engage in prostitution.
He’d not only force the women to give him their earnings, but he’d also punish women when he believed they were withholding money from him. What’s more, Harris was also sexually abusing his victims, too. Some of the women he was using were as young as 14. He was also pumping his victims full of drugs like pills, cocaine, ecstasy, and marijuana.
Thankfully, the investigation resulted in a successful arrest and conviction. Harris will now spend 21 years in prison.
Defending Yourself Against Sex-Related Charges in New York
Clearly, multiple victims were irreversibly harmed by the actions of one man – Joseph Harris. As a result of the severity of his actions, his penalties are fitting. Not every sex-related allegation is based in reality, though. Unfortunately, false allegations have been on the rise for years.
Sadly, a sex-related criminal allegation has the power to derail your life, even if you’re never found guilty. For one, getting accused of sex-related crime will likely impact your personal relationships. It might also impact your career if the allegations go public. If you do wind up getting convicted, then you’ll face life-long repercussions. Not only will you have a criminal record and get sent to jail, but you’ll also have to pay a significant amount of fines, suffer professionally and personally, and likely need to register on a public sex offender registry for years to come.
The best way to avoid all those consequences is to start building up a solid defense strategy before your court hearing. If possible, then it’s in your best interest to consider consulting with a criminal defense attorney about your charges, rights, and potential defense strategies as soon as possible.
If you’re in the Brooklyn area and you’re looking for a defense attorney, then we want to hear from you. Schedule a case evaluation with our firm now to discuss your charges in more detail with our best lawyers.