A 30-year-old man from Queens pleaded guilty to attempted murder after he forced his transgender girlfriend into sex trafficking and physically abused her, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced.
David Viltus of Cambria Heights, who pleaded guilty on February 27 to second-degree attempted murder, forced his 29-year-old girlfriend to have sex with strangers for money and then stole the cash she made, according to prosecutors. When his girlfriend refused to continue going along with Viltus’ scheme, he violently attacked her.
The victim was found in front of the Hillside Hotel in Jamaica, Queens, on April 18 of 2018 after Viltus smashed a plant against her head, threw her against a door, slashed her face, and punched her body numerous times.
Furthermore, prosecutors said, Viltus tried to persuade the victim to drop the charges against him after he was busted.
The abuse started in January of 2018, according to a spokesperson for the Queens DA. It is not clear whether Viltus originally faced other charges in the case in addition to attempted murder, but a Katz spokesperson said the DA is consolidating her prosecution effort to focus solely on the attempted murder charge.
Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Peter Vallone, Sr., who is overseeing the case, “indicated” that he would sentence Viltus to 10 years in prison and five years of post-release supervision, according to the DA. Viltus’ sentencing is scheduled for April 8.
“Our transgender population has faced a tremendous amount of violence all over this country,” Katz said in a written statement. “The victim in this case was attempting to free herself from the sex trade industry when the defendant — who was pocketing the money she made — attacked her and could have killed her. The defendant has now admitted his guilt and will be punished for this criminal act.”