New York|Man in Sex Kidnapping Case Had Zip Ties and Ropes, U.S. Says
The woman thought she was meeting a man who was going to pay her to have sex.
Instead, prosecutors said, he tried to kidnap her, forcing her into his car violently and driving off to a secluded location. The woman escaped by throwing herself out of the moving vehicle. The man returned later with a weapon to hunt her down, investigators said, but she was able to escape a second time.
The episode, in October 2018, was one of several violent encounters between the man, Andrew Frey, and female sex workers, according to federal prosecutors on Long Island.
On Friday, Mr. Frey, 54, of Long Island, was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted kidnapping and two counts of attempted sex trafficking.
Mr. Frey pleaded not guilty to the charges at a first appearance in Federal District Court on Friday. Wearing an olive green jacket, he was crying audibly and his shoulders were shaking.
Investigators who searched his home found rope, zip ties and manuals on tying knots, prosecutors said.
The facts of the case were reminiscent of an infamous Long Island mystery, when investigators found thebodies of four prostitutes andseveral other peoplenear Gilgo Beach on Long Island’s South Shore starting in 2010.
Federal investigators were examining whether Mr. Frey had any connection to the Gilgo Beach murders, according to two people familiar with the case. There was no immediate indication that he had a role in the slayings, the people said.
Mr. Frey, of Coram, is married and has two adult children. He worked as a manager at a Long Island company that makes aircraft equipment, according to prosecutors.
Arguing that Mr. Frey should be detained in custody, a prosecutor called the allegations against him “incredibly disturbing.” In a court filing, the government also cited five previous convictions, including for felony drug possession, as well as a history of disobeying court orders, as reasons to detain Mr. Frey.
A federal magistrate judge agreed with the government’s argument, ordering that Mr. Frey remain in detention because he posed a danger to the community.
A federal defender representing Mr. Frey left court without answering questions. If convicted on all counts, Mr. Frey faces at least 15 years in prison.
The arrest highlighted the dangers of sex work. Officials said that many women who do it are reluctant to report misconduct or violence against them to law enforcement authorities.
“It is likely that the defendant has victimized many others who have not yet reported their experiences to law enforcement,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing.
Another sex worker obtained a restraining order against Mr. Frey after he intentionally rammed his car into hers, the filing said. He was also accused of violating the order by leaving her threatening voice mail messages.
The indictment against Mr. Frey accuses him of two separate kidnapping attempts involving two female prostitutes, identified as Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2. Both women escaped by jumping from his moving car.
Mr. Frey told federal agents he kept handcuffs in the car, a prosecutor said in court on Friday.
Arielle Dollinger and William K. Rashbaum contributed reporting.