D.A. Bragg Announces Charges in Sex Trafficking Scheme Targeting Teenagers

January 6, 2023

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., today announced the indictment of WALTER MELVIN a/k/a “Laron,” 29, for a sex trafficking scheme that involved luring two teenage girls to his New Jersey apartment to engage in prostitution. For several weeks, MELVIN personally arranged for men to come to his apartment to engage in sexual intercourse with one of the girls through online advertisements. MELVIN is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with two counts of Sex Trafficking of a Child and two counts of Sex Trafficking.[1]

“Walter Melvin allegedly preyed on and took advantage of two teenage girls in a deliberate plan to engage them in prostitution,” said District Attorney Bragg. “Nobody should have to endure the type of psychological, physical and emotional abuse that these young survivors experienced. Our Office is focused on prosecuting those who engage in this horrific behavior, while also supporting the survivors throughout these cases and helping them heal.”
According to court documents and statements made on the record by prosecutors, in September of 2022 MELVIN met the two survivors in Times Square. After meeting them, he promised drugs and the opportunity to earn money through prostitution and brought them to New Jersey. Within days, MELVIN posted prostitution ads online, which included nude photos of the 15-year-old survivor.  For six weeks, MELVIN communicated directly with the men who answered his advertisements and arranged for them to have sex with the survivor at his apartment.
MELVIN, who kept a gun in his apartment, also raped the 16-year-old survivor when she returned to his apartment weeks later in an attempt to force her to engage in prostitution. MELVIN also beat the 15-year-old survivor on multiple occasions.
The case is being prosecuted by Courtney Razner (Deputy Chief of the Human Trafficking Response Unit) under the Supervision of Justin McNabney (Chief of the Special Victims Division).
D.A. Bragg thanked Detectives Latasha Carter and Joseph Azevedo of the NYPD Human Trafficking Squad and Investigative Analyst Janine Nassar for their work on this investigation.
Defendant Information:

Patterson, New Jersey


  • Sex Trafficking of a Child, a class B felony, two counts
  • Sex Trafficking, a class B felony, two counts

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.