Feds say sex trafficker brainwashed vulnerable women

WBFO NPR News, New York/September 26, 2019

By Chris Caya

U.S. Attorney James Kennedy says Valentino Shine, Sr., 51, preyed upon and exploited women who were vulnerable and addicted to drugs. Kennedy says Shine used his knowledge as a recovering cocaine addict to target and control the women, in an operation based out of his Humboldt Parkway home.

"At the urging of the defendant the victims advertised on backpage.com. And after performing sex acts for money these victims would give that money, all of that money, to the defendant Mr. Shine," Kennedy said at a news conference Thursday.

Kennedy said Shine also used physical beatings, manipulation and brainwashing to maintain control over the women, three of whom died of drug overdoses.

A federal jury convicted Shine on five counts of sex trafficking and one count each of sex trafficking conspiracy, narcotics conspiracy, using and maintaining a drug-involved premises, and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

One of the survivors, who spoke to reporters after the press conference, said she wants other women who may be in a similar situation to know that they matter.

"You don't have to feel alone. You don't have to be uncomfortable. That there is a way out. That you can find somebody that will help you. And you don't have to be ashamed to speak up. You don't have to ashamed of yourself. Because it happens. And I didn't think it could happen to me but it did," said the young woman, who wants to remain anonymous for her own protection.

Shine's motto, prosecutors said, is "BABY PAE," which stands for "Break a [expletive] Incorporated; Pimping Ain't Easy." He would sign him name "CREAM," an acroynm for "Cash Rules Everything Around Me," which is a reference to a Wu-Tang Clan song from the 1990s.

Shine faces 20 years to life in prison and a $20 million fine at sentencing in federal court in Buffalo on Dec. 12.  

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