Prostitution bust in Midtown

August 14, 2009 3:35:42 PM PDT
Walking down this commercial block, you would almost miss the small doorway on West 38th Street. But city officials say there was plenty going on inside the building.

On Thursday afternoon, when city officials came here to shut down what they thought was an illegal hotel operation on the fifth floor, they were surprised to find something very different just one floor below.

"They saw just a location that was arranged with rooms for sex, but there was no actual activity going on at the time," Shari Hyman of the Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement said.

Hyman said there were some men in the waiting area.

They say there was also a 64-year-old woman here. She is the alleged "Madame" of the brothel, who is accused of forcing a 15-year-old girl to be a prostitute.

"Once we identified her as a minor, we obviously treated her as a victim and made sure services were provided," Hyman said.

The alleged madame, Noreen Williams, lives in an upscale building on West End Avenue. A man inside her apartment buzzed us up today, but then shut us out.

Most of the woman's neighbors told us they didn't know her, but they also aren't overly surprised.

"Nothing shocks me anymore in this city. I lived in a co-op years ago where the same thing was happening," Evelyn White said.

Williams was expected in court to face charges of promoting prostitution and endangering the welfare of a minor. City officials also told us it's not the first time a nuisance complaint yielded much more. On a similar, routine call at another building on 38th Street in the spring they found yet another brothel in the building's cellar.

"I was shocked to even find out something like this is going on in this neighborhood. It's quite shocking," Lizel Paule said.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

USEFUL LINKS:
  • VIEWER PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

  • REPORT TYPO

  • SUBMIT DEBATE QUESTIONS

  • EYEWITNESS TWITTER

  • FIND US ON FACEBOOK



  • Load Comments