NYC mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa calls for ‘full crackdown’ on Brooklyn sex market

Republican candidate for mayor Curtis Sliwa said the NYPD and the Brooklyn district attorney need to do more to clean up East New York after a Post investigation revealed a rampant, open-air sex market amid lax enforcement.

“It’s become a quasi red-light district,”  Sliwa railed during an afternoon press conference Friday as he held up a copy of The Post’s front page story on the probe.

“I grew up here. I still know some of the people who reside here, and they should not have to put up with a red light district operating in their backyard.”

The Post spent months surveilling a heavily trafficked “stroll” in the neighborhood and watched each night as dozens of half-dressed women were sex trafficked to a steady stream of men while pimps pulled the strings from the shadows.

Experts and law enforcement sources pointed to a concerted lack of enforcement that started when district attorneys across the five boroughs stopped enforcing prostitution related offenses.

Curtis Sliwa, disgusted by the Brooklyn sex sex market, holds up a discarded condom.
Curtis Sliwa, disgusted by the Brooklyn sex market, holds up a discarded condom from the area.
Matthew McDermott

While arrests for people in the sex trade have plummeted to zero amid the decision to stop targeting sex workers, busts for pimps and johns, which drive the sex trade, have also dropped significantly, data show.

Sliwa called for a “full crackdown” on pimps and sex buyers and said the NYPD should put up nightly barricades along the stroll so only commercial and delivery vehicles would be allowed to enter.

“Eric Gonzalez, and the other DAs, they’re not charging the prostitution, they’re not charging Johns, they’re not arresting pimps, sex traffickers – nothing,” Sliwa said.

“It’s got to be stopped because it’s not about the people who are selling themselves and the sex trafficking, it’s the Johns, they get a free pass,” he continued, noting most people who are in the trade do so out of force or economic desperation.

He referenced crackdowns that occurred during the David Dinkins administration amid the crack epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s and said female police officers used to work undercover and “snatch up johns” who tried to pay them for sex as a means of deterrence.

“Naturally word got out, ‘Well if you come in here, you could be actually soliciting an undercover cop and get busted, and your car would be seized,’” the Guardian Angels founder recalled.

NYC mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa visits the area in Brooklyn which nightly becomes an open sex market of prostitutes and pimps, near the corner of Pennsylvania and Wortman Ave.
Sliwa said the city needs to do more to clean up East New York after a Post investigation revealed a sex market. He called out Brooklyn Borough President and Democratic mayoral challenger Eric Adams.
Matthew McDermott

“Imagine, you get arrested plus you lose your car — you’re not gonna wanna come in here.”

Sliwa also called out his Democratic challenger Eric Adams, the current Brooklyn borough president, for not doing more to call attention to the trafficking or crack down on it, even though the role doesn’t come with any law enforcement capabilities.

“While Brooklyn’s Borough Eric Adams pretends to be tough on crime, his own borough is falling into a den of crime,” Sliwa said in a statement ahead of the press conference.

“Drugs, prostitution, pimps — this has become the norm every night in East New York while Eric Adams makes empty campaign promises all across the city.”

NYC mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa visits the area in Brooklyn which nightly becomes an open sex market of prostitutes and pimps, near the corner of Pennsylvania and Wortman Ave.
Curtis Sliwa referenced crackdowns that occurred during the David Dinkins administration amid the crack epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s.
Matthew McDermott

A spokesperson for Adams, who was the only democratic mayoral candidate who opposed decriminalizing prostitution, said the candidate made it “clear” during the primary that the Big Apple must not return to “lawlessness.”

“Eric made clear during the primary — and he is crystal clear now — that we cannot have a return to lawlessness on our streets, including open prostitution,” spokesperson Evan Thies told The Post in a statement.

“To have safety, justice and prosperity for all, the law must be followed by all.”

Additional reporting by Julia Marsh

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