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Man Sentenced 50 Years To Life After Woman Forced Into Prostitution Jumps From Sixth-Story Window

The view from the sixth-floor window from which the victim escaped (credit: Manhattan District Attorney's Office)

The view from the sixth-floor window from which the victim escaped (credit: Manhattan District Attorney’s Office)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A man convicted of forcing a woman to prostitute herself until she jumped out a sixth-floor Manhattan apartment window to escape is headed for 50 years to life in prison.

Benjamin Gaston was sentenced Wednesday on his conviction on sex trafficking and other charges. He denied them. Defense lawyer Robert Briere said. Gaston plans to appeal.

District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. says Gaston held the 28-year-old woman captive for about 42 hours in November 2012, taking her phone and cash and ordering her to perform sexual acts on other men to make him money. Prosecutors say she found a phone and called 911 but couldn’t provide an accurate address.

Prosecutors say she leaped out the window to escape. She broke vertebrae, her pelvis, a leg and an arm.

“The woman in this case was confronted with an unimaginable choice: to escape out of a 6th floor window or to be raped by multiple strangers,” Vance said in a news release. “Over the course of approximately 42 hours, she was threatened, beaten, raped, held captive, and sold for profit. No one should have to endure what the survivor in this case went through, but sex traffickers prey on vulnerable women who face similar danger every day.”

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