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Long IslandCrime

Cops break up Manhattan prostitution ring

238 East 50th Street in Manhattan is one

238 East 50th Street in Manhattan is one of the many locations that the DA busted a prostitution ring. (Oct. 22, 2012) Credit: Nancy Borowick

Authorities broke up a major prostitution ring that they say used several Manhattan apartments as secret sex nests.

The accused ringleader, William Thomas, 42, of Fort Greene, was arraigned in Manhattan Monday on a charge of promoting prostitution.

The Manhattan district attorney's office contends Thomas created and maintained two websites that advertised kinky sex meetings with Asian women and charged as much as $200 per half-hour for anyone who signed up for the services.

The women are pictured on the site in sexual poses wearing various role play outfits, including maids and schoolgirls.

Undercover detectives charged that Thomas had been operating the sites since September 2011 and brought clients, many of whom were wealthy men who worked on Wall Street, to several locations.

One of the suspected romp rooms, at 238 E. 50th St., was big enough to have several beds and was "occupied by five women," according to a detective who posed as a client. Other locations included a floor at 1 Maiden Lane and apartments in buildings near West 36th Street and East 58th Street, the criminal complaint said.

One of the undercover officers had met with Thomas on Oct. 11 and he is accused of giving the officer the locations and pricing for sex acts.

Thomas was released on $35,000 bail and is set to return to court Dec. 13, the DA's office said. Two women also were arrested and charged for what police described as assisting Thomas in his operation.

This is the second alleged prostitution ring bust that the NYPD conducted this year.

Anna Gristina pleaded guilty last month to running an Upper East Side brothel out of an East 74th Street apartment.

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