Brooklyn Boro

Prostitution rings increasingly enlist landlords to provide apartments for use as brothels

November 15, 2018 By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle
201 Onderdonk Ave., one of the buildings Isaac Schwartz allegedly helped facilitate a prostitution ring at. Image © 2018 Google Maps photo
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With the rise of gentrification throughout the city, promoters of prostitution have increasingly turned to landlords as accomplices. For a fee, the landlords provide apartments where prostitutes ply their trade.

The New York Times provided the example of a four-story building in Park Slope, where strange men constantly visited two apartments where neighbors believed prostitutes entered. In September, police broke up a large prostitution ring allegedly headed by retired NYPD Detective Ludwig Paz that used apartments in this and several other buildings.

Isaac A. Schwartz, who owned the Park Slope building as well as several others where the ring’s prostitutes worked, was charged with enterprise corruption and conspiracy but has pleaded not guilty, according to the Times.

In such cases, prostitutes advertise online, “dates” are arranged over the phone and the men are directed to apartments rented by illicit sex rings.

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David M. Hoovler, the district attorney for Orange County, told the Times it’s difficult to prove a case against landlords in court because “you have to have evidence that links them to the actual criminal enterprise.”

Indeed, when apartments used as brothels are shut down by law enforcement officers, the same operation often springs up again in other nearby apartments.

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