An alleged member of the Bloods street gang from Roosevelt, who was convicted of beating his female victim and keeping her hooked on drugs to keep her engaged in prostitution at hotels and motels across Long Island, was sentenced Friday to 7 years in prison.
Dominic Cunningham, 27, pleaded guilty May 24 to three counts of sex trafficking and one count each of second-degree promoting prostitution and third-degree intimidating a victim or witness.
Acting State Supreme Court Justice Robert Bogle also sentenced Cunningham on Friday to up to 5 years of post-release supervision. Cunningham must also register as a sex offender once he is released from prison.
"This defendant exploited his victim in every way — forcing her to continue to engage in prostitution by hitting and kicking her, giving her prescription tranquilizers, and making threats against her and her family because he believed they went to the police," said acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce Smith. "Thankfully, this predator will now be off the streets and behind bars."
Joseph Lo Piccolo, Cunningham's Garden City-based defense attorney, said his client "has an opportunity to learn from this and does not expect to be in this situation ever again in the future."
From May 2017 through May 2019, Cunningham would drive his victim to hotels and motels in Nassau and Suffolk counties and pay for rooms for her to have "dates" with clients in exchange for money, prosecutors said.
To keep the woman working as a prostitute, Cunningham would punch, kick and whip the victim with a belt and provided her with Xanax and Percocet, authorities said.
On March 18, 2020, prosecutors said Cunningham sent threatening text messages to the victim, vowing to kill the woman and her mother because he believed they had filed a police report against him, prosecutors said.