A Lehigh County man and his son, both of whom acknowledged they were pimps, were acquitted Wednesday of sex trafficking charges after several prostitutes testified they were treated well.
A Manhattan judge found Vincent George Sr. and his son, Vincent George Jr., guilty of less serious charges of promoting prostitution and money laundering. The two hadn't denied they were pimps but insisted they never abused their prostitutes.
Several prostitutes testified on the Vincents' behalf. They said they were one big happy family, enjoying a suburban life as "wife-in-laws" in Allentown while commuting to New York by night.
Prosecutors argued at the non-jury trial that the women were too traumatized to admit they'd been abused. They played hours of wiretapped conversations in which the men threatened to assault them if they didn't make enough money.
Defense attorneys called the mixed verdict a victory. They said they would appeal the convictions.
The loving relationship between pimps and prostitutes "was vindicated," David Epstein, the son's attorney, said outside court. "It's a moral victory as well as a legal one."
Prosecutors had no immediate comment.