A convicted sex trafficker who targeted vulnerable runaway teens from the Covenant House blew up in Manhattan court Friday after being sentenced to as much as 18 years in prison, insisting he is “not an animal” and doesn’t deserve such a long jail sentence.
“I’m sitting here like, wow, this can’t be fair. This isn’t right. This is injustice,” the sex-trafficker whined.
“I don’t know what the prosecutor thinks of me. I’m not an animal.”
Lamb was convicted in June of targeting homeless and runaway teens from the Covenant House, a homeless shelter in Manhattan, and then coercing them to participate in a sex-trafficking and prostitution scheme that spanned both New York and New Jersey.
When some victims told Lamb that they did not want to work for him, he threatened to expose them to their family members and friends or warned he would get physically violent them, according to the DA.
“He targeted these individuals at their most desperate times,” Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Dolle told the judge in urging a harsh sentence.
Dolle said Lamb threatened to “expose” one woman at her school and to send explicit photographs to her father if she didn’t do what he wanted.
When the victim pleaded with Lamb to leave her alone, he threaten to send people physically assault her at home, Dolle told the judge.
Because of the vulnerability of the victims, prosecutors didn’t specify how many girls had been involved in Lamb’s alleged sex ring or how old they were, though they said more than two women had been victimized by Lamb.
Lamb incorporated direct online advertising to young women living in temporary housing run by Covenant House in Manhattan.
Back in June of 2014, Jayne Bigelson, Covenant House’s anti-trafficking director, spotted predatory ads on Craigslist and reported them to the District Attorney, she said.
“It said something like ‘Do you stay at Covenant House? Do you want to move out? You must live at Covenant House and be younger than twenty-two,’” she said.
“It really made our blood boil.”
the ads were accompanied with photos of wadded up $20 and $100 dollar bills.
The ring was broken after a lengthy investigation by the Manhattan DA’s office in conjunction with the Department of Homeless Services and Michael Lamb, a resident of the East village, was charged with three counts of sex trafficking and one count of promoting prostitution. He faced 8 to twenty-five years in prison.
These advertisements also stipulated that the young women “must be interested in the escort business” in order to qualify for the free room and board provided.
Lamb, allegedly ran the ads from January 2013 up until Sept 2016 when he was taken into custody.