Press "Enter" to skip to content

D.A. Bragg Announces Takedown of Sex Trafficking Ring – Including A Greyhound Employee – That Targeted Women In Port Authority

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg today announced the indictment of CHRISTOPHER WITHERSPOON, 38, a/k/a “MANIAK,” LOUIS AUSTIN, 51, a/k/a “TROUBLE,” and Greyhound employee PAUL MIDDLETON, 49, for operating a sex trafficking ring that aimed to recruit vulnerable women at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. The men are charged in a New York State Court indictment with Sex Trafficking, Promoting Prostitution in the Fourth Degree, Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, and Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree. WITHERSPOON is also charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree.[1]

“This indictment alleges a highly coordinated operation, with three men conspiring to target a vulnerable woman with nowhere to stay and using brutal force to force her to perform sexual acts,” said District Attorney Bragg. “While midtown transit hubs are all too often the recruitment sites for such operations, this Greyhound employee had unique access, as we allege, to target vulnerable women. Because of this, we have reason to believe there may be more survivors of this operation. My Office’s Human Trafficking Response Unit is fully equipped to support survivors, with dedicated prosecutors and investigators working alongside specially trained social workers. Please call us at 212-335-3400.”

According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, on January 29, 2023, MIDDLETON, who is employed as a mechanic at Greyhound’s Port Authority location, approached a 35-year-old woman who could not afford a bus ticket, and asked her if she needed somewhere to stay. MIDDLETON contacted AUSTIN, who offered to find somewhere for her to stay. At AUSTIN’S direction, MIDDLETON took the woman to an employee-only area of Port Authority, where he took partially nude photographs of her before groping her and offering to pay her for sexual acts.

Afterward, AUSTIN contacted WITHERSPOON to pick up the woman and take her to WITHERSPOON’s apartment in NYCHA’s Rangel Houses. For the next 12 days, WITHERSPOON repeatedly sexually assaulted the woman and used violence, threats, and other forms of coercion to force her to engage in commercial sexual acts with multiple men in hotels in Queens and the Bronx.

WITHERSPOON sexually assaulted her before many of the forced commercial sexual acts and took the money she made. He recorded the sexual assaults and used the videos and other nude photographs in online prostitution advertisements. He restricted access to her cellphone and refused to allow her to call her children. He beat her repeatedly, threatened to shoot her with a firearm, and hit her with a firearm. Additionally, he used threats of violence to force her to marry a stranger who paid WITHERSPOON citing immigration reasons…


Home | Caravan to Midnight (

We need your help to keep Caravan to Midnight going,

please consider donating to help keep independent media independent.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Breaking News: