Cambria Heights man pleads guilty to attempted murder after attacking transgender girlfriend: Queens DA

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A Cambria Heights man has pleaded guilty to attempted murder for trying to kill his girlfriend whom he was pimping out, according to Queens DA Melinda Katz.

David Viltus, 30, of 221st Street, pleaded guilty Thursday to attempted murder in the second degree before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Peter Vallone Jr. Sentencing was set for April 8, at which time Justice Vallone indicated he would sentence Viltus to a determinate term of 10 years in prison to be followed by five years’ post release supervision.

In pleading guilty, Viltus admitted that on April 18, 2018, he went to the Hillside Hotel in Jamaica where the victim, a 29-year-old transgender woman was staying and attempted to cause her death. The victim was found in front of the hotel with a slash to the face and had been repeatedly punched in the face and body.

The victim had a plant smashed against her head and she was thrown out an automated door, knocking the door off its hinges. According to the charges, further investigation determined that the victim was being coerced into having sex with strangers for money and that the defendant pocketed the cash she was making. At one point, the victim refused to continue prostituting herself and Viltus retaliated with violence.

“Our transgender population has faced a tremendous amount of violence all over this country,” Katz said. “The victim in this case was attempting to free herself from the sex trade industry when the defendent, who was pocketing the money she made, attacked her and could have killed her. The defendant has now admitted his guilt and will be punished for this criminal act.”

According to the indictment, after Viltus had been arrested and charged with attempted murder he contacted the victim and tried to convince her to drop the charges.

“Sex trafficking people is sorely under reported in Queens and elsewhere,” Katz said.”These victims, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identification, should know they can come forward. We are here to help everyone.”