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Black Women Share With Sisters and Daughters: 5 Ways Pimps Recruit Their Prey

Educate and empower your child to protect her from the pimp's game. (Posed by professional models.)

In Chicago, Datqunn Sawyer, 32, was found guilty of pimping, beating and branding six girls, ages 12 to 17. Sawyer promised girls love, but then beat them and forced them to have sex with men for money, according to authorities. Some girls worked out of four-star hotel rooms, others would walk the stroll, and have sex with random strangers along the gritty end of Cicero Avenue.

Sawyer will spend at least 15 years in jail.

In New York, The “King of All Pimps” Jason Itzler was back in court after getting arrested for pimping, laundering money and selling cocaine, according to cops. Itzler, once the owner of the New York Confidential escort service, served two years in Rikers for pimping on the Web. Low-end girls cost $1,000, add the cocaine, according to investigators, and the cost rose to $10,000. At one time Itzler claimed that one of Tiger Woods’ hookups used to work for him.

In Houston, Barry Lernard Davis, aka “Sir Lewis,” 34, was found guilty of pimping a minor and enticing an adult to engage in criminal sexual activity.

And in Milwaukee, “actor” Derrick (Pimp Snooky) Avery, 45, pled guilty to conspiracy and sex trafficking a minor. This pimp appeared in the documentary, “Pimps Up, Hos Down,” considers himself an actor, and he now faces a maximum of life in prison.

The list of high-profile pimp arrests is seemingly endless, so let’s get to the root of the issue, what can you do to protect females in your community?

According to pimps and law enforcement officials, here are the five ways pimps recruit their prey; read, and take heed.

1. Pimps recruit out in the open.
Pimps do not hide in the crevices of bus depots to find their next target, they are out in the open.

In 2009, DePaul College of Law’s Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center studied five ex-pimps in the Chicago area. Brenda Myers-Powell, a prostitution survivor, interviewed each pimp with a 91-question survey instrument. DePaul researchers found, “Participants recruited everywhere and anywhere, at skating rinks, laundromats, basketball games and other events that attracted lots of girls. Others participating in more organized businesses ran ads and one said his business trafficked from abroad.”

2. Pimps promise the glamorous lifestyle.
Houston pimp Sir Lewis Davis promised his prey the comforts of home, (food, shelter, love) and high-end material gifts. Once he had a girl under his spell, according to court testimony, Davis used physical and sexual abuse to keep them under his control. He took suggestive photos of the girls and placed them online to solicit customers.

3. Pimps use other women to recruit girls.
Alan Townsend of Florida met a 14-year-old Ohio girl on, and convinced her to run away from home. Authorities say Townsend used his most seasoned prostitute 27-year-old Courtney Shine, to befriend the young girl and tell her that a modeling career was in her future.

On the road, the pimp told the young girl that she would become a prostitute, not a model, and the girl managed to escape and call police.

Townsend and Shine have since pled guilty to federal child sex-trafficking charges.

4. Pimps use fancy job titles.
Pimps are the ultimate fabulists and are quite adept at lying about what they do for a living. Pimps use glamorous job titles such as photographer, modeling agent, movie producer or filmmaker to sell the fantasy, especially to lure mature women with broken dreams.

5. Pimps use Facebook (and other social media outlets).

With pressure from the feds, Craigslist has become strict on its personal ads, but other social media sites including,, and in some cases, even Facebook, are becoming the latest hot spots for paid hookups.

Human trafficking expert T. Mills Kelly, Director, Global Affairs, at George Mason University notes: “If you want an “escort” or a “sensual massage,” Facebook can set you right up. With minimal searching, I found a variety of pages for escorts in Germany, the Persian Gulf, the United Kingdom, and India, and links to massage parlors in the United States as well as around the world. Lest you think these massage parlors are offering sports massage or something similarly benign, a quick scan of their pages indicates that they are most definitely not offering therapeutic massage.”

Professor Kelly continues, “Facebook is giving these sorts of establishments an outlet on the Web.”

What You Can Do
The FBI is cracking down on all forms of human trafficking, from the street-level pimp to the cyberspace Casanova with its Innocence Lost Task Force. Pimps can expect mandatory prison sentences and more severe penalties under federal law.

You can help protect girls in your community by contacting your nearest FBI office or the National Center for Exploited Children’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST.


  1. MsMobetter on November 22, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Definitely a article to share.

  2. -- on February 23, 2012 at 5:14 am

    very sad, way too many women stuck in this game, and in many cases these men use love to exploit these women for money. these men in this game are the lowest, trash men in these communities, out of necessity and no motivation to function in society they become convicts and can not get work at all, so all they can do is befriend/ make women fall in love with them while simultaneously stripping them of their morals/convictions and persuading them into having sex with strangers, in return they are the “boyfriend” (provide “love”) and protector (e.g. bodyguard that hides like a coward only showing up behind a gun if anything occurs e.g. if customer does not pay, runs off etc). black ghetto culture has codified the most negative/ intimate aspects of relationships/ sexual life into a positive of of necessity. in other words, in the “game” (world of prostitution) in the ghetto/ modern day mainstream hip hop style hell is a “dream of a false heaven”, while heaven is seen as “lame, nerdy, a trick” (just as “bad” means “good” in slang vernacular). This is why church groups go after streetwalkers intensively. everything is upside down. there are however many independent women who work this way however, and many times women are the “pimps”. the “game” is not exclusive to the black community however, but it is the most apparent when one looks at most American cities where this activity goes on. Armenian, Mexican-American, Asian and Caucasian pimps are out there, however they tend to be more discrete, and due to blackpoitation films from the 70s and 80s American culture and hip hop culture has seen prostitution as a means to an end, a way out, in other words again, acceptable. This will take generations to get rid of if its even possible at all within this community. You would think Obama and more black representation in American institutions would have  a positive impact on the future generations, but the current generation is far from that

    • Carla on June 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      If it involves minors or force that is one thing I wholeheartedly agree that those pimps or madams involved in force and/or procuring minors should be shutdown and prosecuted. However if an adult woman especially 22, 23, 25 or older wants to be a sex worker then I don’t see the big deal. If she wants to share or give the money she makes to a guy who is a pimp or boyfriend or both then that is on her. When Hugh Hefner of Playboy magazine or Dennis Hof the owner of the Bunny Ranch in Nevada wants to exploit a woman’s sexuality it is OK because it is legal but if a regular guy especially a black man does it they want to crucify him. I believe sex work might disgust a lot of people especially most women but you have a choice not to do it so don’t. A lot of people used to think homosexuals were sick disgusting people and some still do but now that it is legal and the government has sanctioned it most people think the whole gay/lesbian thing is oh so cool. You have a whole lot more women having lesbian sex with women in record numbers because the system has sanctioned it as cool and fun. So a lot of straight women are now bisexual. To think that less than 40 years ago homosexuality was considered a form of mental illness and was very illegal just like prostitution. So if the government ever legalizes prostitution and pimping like in Nevada and other places around the world people in the USA will have a whole different attitude. I believe the average person can’t even think for themselves they just go along with whatever the government, police and the media says. Like mindless puppets they are brainwashed into what to believe. Pimps, madams, hookers and strippers are an alternative lifestyle that is all that it is. The government is going to only show unhappy stories about that lifestyle to justify spending and wasting billions of dollars of tax money to lock those people up. They are more men who beat up their wives and girlfriends then pimps who beat up their girls. They are way more woman who leach off of men for money then men and pimps leach off of women for money. When it involves sex workers then it all of a sudden a big deal. Wake up and smell the coffee and the media propaganda.

  3. RKS on October 12, 2012 at 5:34 am

    Pimpin aint easy.

  4. anonymous on December 18, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    we have to stop letting the prostitutes who dont have pimps, off the hook