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June 11, 2019New York, NY, United StatesHuman Smuggling/Trafficking

Bronx man convicted of sex trafficking minors, kidnapping and use of a firearm

NEW YORK — A Bronx, New York man was convicted in federal court Monday pursuant to an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York’s Trafficking in Person Unit (TIPU) and the New York City Police Department (NYPD). Claudius English, 45, was convicted June 10 in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) for multiple counts of sex trafficking minors, attempted sex trafficking of minors as young as 8 years old, kidnapping of a minor, and using a firearm to commit the kidnapping.

“English chose a business of preying on children as young as 8 and exploiting their innocence, forcing them to have sex with his already established clientele,” said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge for HSI New York. “He carried out his predatory acts and targeted minors on the internet, once again highlighting the importance of internet safety. The heinous acts of this individual robbed his victims of their childhood, and this guilty verdict will ensure that he faces time for his criminal actions.”

“As a unanimous jury determined without hesitation, Claudius English engaged in a predatory reign of terror and exploitation of children – girls as young as 8 years old. Thanks to HSI and the NYPD, English now awaits a lengthy prison sentence,” stated U.S. Attorney for SDNY, Geoffrey S. Berman.

“The NYPD is committed to ensuring child predators are taken off our streets; we will continue working tirelessly to bring them to justice. We remain committed to working with our law enforcement partners to ensure that individuals who engage in these reprehensible crimes are held accountable for the misery and anguish they cause,” stated NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill.

According to the evidence presented during the trial, in 2013, English sex trafficked multiple minor victims out of his apartment in the Bronx. English used the Internet to find, recruit, and lure minor victims to his apartment, where he photographed them in sexually suggestive poses. English then sent these photographs to his regular clients, and created advertisements that he posted on Backpage. English arranged for his clients to pay for sex with at least four minor victims who testified at trial. Additionally, for one of his clients, English took substantial steps to obtain and sex traffic girls as young as 13, 11, and 8.

On November 15, 2013, English lured a 14-year-old girl from New Jersey to his apartment for the purpose of selling her for sex. When the victim resisted and said she wanted to leave, English pointed a loaded gun at her head and refused. After several hours, the victim convinced English to accompany her outside. Even though English brought his gun with him, the victim ran away and called 911. NYPD officers responded promptly enough that the victim was able to lead them back to English’s apartment, where English was caught trying to flee.

English, was convicted of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors (count one), four counts of sex trafficking of minors (counts two, three, four, and eight), three counts of attempted sex trafficking of minors (counts five, six, and seven), kidnapping a minor (count nine), and the use of a firearm in furtherance of the kidnapping (count ten). English faces a statutory maximum sentence of life, and a mandatory minimum sentence of 27 years. This case is being handled by the SDNY’s General Crimes Unit.