By Associated Press - Wednesday, September 3, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - A man convicted of forcing a woman to prostitute herself until she jumped out a sixth-story apartment window was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years to life in prison.

Benjamin Gaston had been convicted of sex trafficking, kidnapping, rape and other charges.

“The woman in this case was confronted with an unimaginable choice: to escape out of a sixth-floor window or to be raped by multiple strangers,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said in a statement.

Gaston, 37, denied the allegations, and defense lawyer Robert Briere said Gaston planned to appeal.

Vance said Gaston held the 28-year-old woman captive for about 42 hours in November 2012, taking her phone and cash and ordering her to perform sexual acts on other men to make him money.



She found a phone and called 911 but couldn’t provide an accurate address, prosecutors said. Gaston found her using the phone and took her to another apartment, where multiple men were waiting to sexually assault her, so she climbed out a bedroom window to escape, according to prosecutors.

Falling 50 feet, she broke vertebrae, her pelvis, a leg and an arm. The Associated Press generally does not name people who report being sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly.

Gaston’s lawyer said trial testimony didn’t prove the account prosecutors presented. His appeal will likely challenge decisions allowing and excluding various testimony, Briere said.

“We think we have very solid grounds” for an appeal, he said.

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