Grandma’s a Pimp Now, Too

Grandmas: Aren’t they great? Baking cookies, passing down family traditions, and spoiling grandkids are the usual, endearing job descriptors. But Tecora Brown’s grandkids can add “pimp” to that list, as their grandma helped run a sex trafficking ring in New Jersey.

Sold out by her son, Allen E. Brown, also known as “Prince,” the 73-old-woman pleaded guilty in court this month to promoting prostitution between 2000 and 2004, while Brown used her home to run his business. Brown himself admitted to recruiting girls for prostitution since 1990, hitting up places like nightclubs and bus stations and promising “the good life.” His version of the good life? Forced use of heroin and cocaine, beatings, total mind control, $1000 nightly quotas, and virtual imprisonment, among other “luxuries.” One girl was especially lucky, extorted for $500,000 after the lives of both herself and her family were threatened.

Prince Not-So-Charming had several cohorts, all of whom have been arrested and charged for their various degrees of complicity. And Brown will likely be sentenced to a total of 20 years in prison for both the human trafficking ring and the extortion — disgustingly weak, considering the lives he has ruined, and the methodical, violent way in which he ruined them. But that’s another post for another day; today, we’re talking about Grandma.

We can only assume that before Grandma opened her home to her son and his rape factory, she was at least marginally aware of his activities, for what mother doesn’t ask her grown children about their job? And while she actually played the part of Grandma Pimp, what exactly was her degree of complicity? I do hope that factor was thoroughly explored before arriving at her sentence, which will likely be between one and five years of probation, with the forfeiture of two vehicles. Is this slap on the wrist enough? How important should age be when sentencing a human trafficker?

In addition to raising these questions, the conviction of an elderly female in promoting prostitution also challenges our paradigm of the typical pimp. Gender doesn’t necessarily characterize the face of a trafficker and neither, apparently, does age. Just the same as modern-day slaves themselves, slaveholders cannot be defined by any one demographic.

Looking at a trafficker’s motivations, instead, will be more helpful in addressing the crime and establishing effective incentives against it. What motivated Tecora Brown to exploit women in the worst of ways? She raised a son who was driven by money and power, so these easily could have been her aims as well. It was, in fact, her bank account used for the $500,000 extortion. And more than anything, she was helping out her son. Does blood run thicker than morals? Apparently it does for this pimpette  — who, I think it is safe to say, will not be seeing any nominations for Grandma of the Year.

Photo credit: Theresa Thompson


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3 CommentsLeave a comment

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