MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — This joyride didn't have a happy ending.
More than a dozen men, including a doctor, a man who claimed to work for the Brooklyn Diocese and a guard at a high-end security firm, were hauled before a judge Monday to face charges they patronized a sex-trafficking ring run by cab drivers.
Twelve of the 14 pleaded not guilty to charges they paid between $200 and $500 for prostitutes pimped out by cabbies, who were arrested earlier this month after the Manhattan District Attorney's office caught wind of their alleged illicit backseat business.
Prosecutors said the women were held as virtual hostages, forced to have sex with clients in hotel rooms, apartments and even the back of their captors' taxis in exchange for just enough cash to survive. One victim was even made to get a barcode tattoo, prosecutors said.
Vincent George Sr., 55, of Allentown, Pa. and his son, Vincent George Jr., 33, of Queens, are suspected of running the ring, laundering profits through a phony entertainment company while advertising their captives as masseuses, prosecutors said. Six cab drivers were also charged.
Suspected johns Zachary Zeitzeff and Anthony Napolitano pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct charges and were sentenced to community service, health education classes and a $250 fine.
The other 12 were released without bail.