stories | Students

NYC Sex Ring Take Down and the Power of Prayer

February 14, 2014 | DAVID LEEDY

On January 29, the New York Police Department (NYPD) busted a major prostitution and drug ring. The ring, headquartered in NYC, spanned several states, charged up to $1,000 per hour for prostitutes, and supplied clients with a buffet of drugs. As the Super Bowl approached, the multi-million dollar crime ring brashly ramped up online and TV advertising for their services.

The raid, which involved a swat team and door ram, took place in a high rise residential building in midtown Manhattan… which also happens to house King’s students.

Thankfully, no students were in harm’s way. In fact, rather than running for cover, a couple of students who report for The Empire State Tribune jumped on the story. The quick response and capable reporting of Dean Graham (Freshman in Media, Culture & the Arts) and Carly Hoilman (Junior in Politics, Philosophy & Economics) resulted in their providing breaking coverage of the story that other news outlets were unable to offer. Other news outlets even contacted Dean and Carly for information.

Thanks to the diligent work of the NYPD and the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force, this sex ring is no more. Kudos to our law enforcement officers! Busts like this make me thankful for what they do.

But, as Andy Rooney used to say, there’s more to the story. For the past year, Virginia Pike, who teaches music at King’s, and other members of her church have been praying against sex trafficking in NYC. At 11:00 AM on January 29–the morning of the bust–Virginia felt an urgent need to pray specifically about Super Bowl related trafficking. Virginia shares, “What’s really strange is that I felt impressed to pray for God to expose and dismantle Super Bowl-related sex trafficking in our city. I don’t usually pray for that. I had no idea any of this was taking place in King’s College housing, but God knew.”

Remarkable. Virginia was led to pray about something particular–and within hours that prayer was dramatically answered. A couple of things strike me about this. First, God is far from indifferent to the plights that wreck lives in hidden corners of our city. He takes notice. Secondly, I’m struck by how God employs us to address these issues. God tapped Virginia to pray. And, in some mysterious way, God used the NYPD (unbeknownst to them, no doubt) to bring down a sex ring.

How this all works is beyond me. But I am reminded that, with events like this, there is often more at work than meets the eye. Things are at play in the spiritual realm. And, sometimes, unsuspecting individuals are tapped to join in on the action.

David K. Leedy

Dean of Students