Houston Man Convicted of Sex Trafficking After Jury Rejects Claims of Willing Involvement

In Houston, a federal jury has convicted 47-year-old Larry “Lavish” Lewis of sex trafficking charges, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani. The conviction came after a six-day trial, during which the jury deliberated for approximately three hours.

Lewis was found guilty of trafficking four women through physical force and coercion, compelling them to engage in commercial sex in the Bissonnet street area of Houston and other cities in Texas and Louisiana. He also coerced them to cross state lines to engage in prostitution.

During the trial, victims testified that Lewis lured them with false promises of a better life and confiscated their identification cards, exerting tight control over their lives. They were entirely dependent on him for basic necessities like food and lodging. Lewis enforced strict rules, determining when and where they worked and taking all the money they earned from commercial sex dates.

The victims recounted incidents of severe physical abuse for breaking Lewis’ rules. One victim was kicked in the head and whipped with an electrical cord after attempting to escape. Another victim suffered broken ribs and extensive bruises after multiple beatings.

The jury rejected the defense’s claims that the women willingly sought out Lewis due to his expertise in the commercial sex industry.

U.S. District Chief Judge Randy Crane presided over the trial and scheduled sentencing for January 10, 2024. Lewis could face life in federal prison. He will remain in custody until his sentencing hearing.