Disturbing text messages between a convicted pimp and a vulnerable teenager has revealed how young women can be forced into becoming sex slaves.
Sex trafficker Michael Lamb, who targeted vulnerable runaway teens from a homeless shelter in Manhattan, got an 18-year-old, known as "JC", drunk and took provocative photos of her.
He then threatened to make them public if she didn't agree to work for him, according to the New York Post.
The distraught young woman dodged the scheme only by pretending to have tried to commit suicide. Lamb eventually left her alone, news.com.au reports.
Here is part of their exchange:
Lamb: "I don't want to let these get out to your parents or school ... considering I know what you go to High ... this is leverage. I'll mail them and your emails to your folks so they'll know and it's easy for this to spread around the internet"
JC: "Please Do Not Do This To Me I'm Begging You."
Lamb: "I'll keep them private only if you come fuq wit me ... that's the only choice ..."
JC: "Please Just Delete the Pictures & We Can Forget All This Happened."
Lamb: "OK ... well I gave you a reasonable choice ... guess I'm gonna print out the pics n email and mail them to your folks and spread the word around your school and send them to the colleges you like ... This could haunt you for the rest of your life."
JC: "I Got The Police Involved"
Lamb: "BAD MOVE ... Should I send a goon squad over there?!''
JC: "This Is J.'s Best friend. She's In The Hospital cause she tried to kill herself please leave her alone.''
The texts were submitted as evidence at Lamb's trial in December, where he was sentenced to six to 18 years in prison.
Lamb blew up in court over the sentence — insisting he is "not an animal" and doesn't deserve such a long jail term.
"That sounds really crazy. That's insane. That's murder numbers," he said, according to the New York Post.
"I'm sitting here like, wow, this can't be fair. This isn't right. This is injustice," the sex-trafficker said.
"I don't know what the prosecutor thinks of me. I'm not an animal."
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, according to the prosecution.
"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 threatened to send people to physically assault her at home, Ms Dolle told the judge.