After a six-day trial, Larry “Lavish” Lewis was found guilty of forcing and coercing women to engage in commercial sex in southwest Houston’s Bissonnet Street, along with other cities in Texas and Louisiana.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Lewis would make the women cross state lines to engage in prostitution.
During the trial, the victims detailed how Lewis recruited them. They said he would promise them good money and a good life.
The women testified to the jury that Lewis would also take away their IDs and control their access to their hotel rooms. Officials said the women would completely depend on Lewis for food, lodging, and basic necessities.
The victims also detailed the consequences of breaking Lewis’ rules. He kicked one victim in the head into a window because he believed she disrespected him, according to prosecutors. During another incident, Lewis whipped the same victim with an electrical cord following an attempt to escape using his vehicle. Another victim described how Lewis broke her ribs and left bruises all over her body after receiving many beatings.
Lewis will remain in custody as he awaits his sentencing.
The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office conducted the investigation with the assistance of the FBI as part of the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance.