A registered sex offender from the Bronx has been indicted for allegedly trafficking in children into New York state and then forcing them into prostitution, prosecutors announced Friday.
Paul Alexander, 57, is the first New York state resident to be indicted for sex trafficking of a child — a new criminal charge targeting predators who smuggle children into the sex trade in the Empire State, according to state Attorney General Letitia James.
Alexander, according to his LinkedIn account, served as chief executive officer of Central Jet Charter, a private aviation company. He was arrested last December as the target of an extensive investigation into child sex trafficking in New York state.
“The sexual exploitation of children is disgraceful, sickening, and blatantly illegal,” said James in a March 12 statement. “Adults have the responsibility to protect children, yet Alexander’s alleged actions exposed minors to untold pain and suffering.”
According to the state Sex Offender Registry, Alexander was previously convicted in 1996 for sexually abusing a female victim, age not posted, in New Rochelle back in 1990 and served a brief prison sentence. Six years later, in December 2002, he was arrested in Yonkers for possessing child pornography and convicted the following August. He was paroled in December 2004, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
Between 2018 and 2020, James alleged, Alexander lured underage girls, some as young as 12, to his Bronx apartment and engaged them in explicit behavior. He allegedly exposed himself to them, showed nude photographs and attempted to perform sex acts on the victims.
Some of Alexander’s victims reported the abuse to the NYPD, which spurred the investigation that brought him down — “Operation Mile High,” which involved a joint team of the NYPD’s Major Case Squad and the Attorney General’s office members.
The investigators employed various tactics — including covert recordings, social media and undercover operations — and learned that Alexander allegedly trafficked in underage girls across county lines for sex, then pimped them out to other men for his own profit.
In one instance, law enforcement sources said, Alexander allegedly charged an undercover police officer $300 to have sex with two young girls, ages 12 and 14. In the process, he allegedly advised the undercover agent to ply the victims with alcohol and marijuana in order to make them cooperative.
The indictment unsealed in Bronx Supreme Court on March 12 charges Alexander with multiple counts of sex trafficking of a child, promoting prostitution, conspiracy, endangering the welfare of a child and obscenity. During the arraignment hearing, Judge Michael A. Gross ordered Alexander held without bail.
If convicted, Alexander faces up to 50 years behind bars.
“Today’s charges further affirm the NYPD’s unwavering commitment to combating sex trafficking and protecting the survivors of this heinous crime,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said on Friday. “I commend our NYPD investigators and the New York state attorney general for their sustained work in this important case.”
This story first appeared on amny.com.