Two people accused of kidnapping woman from Henrietta hotel plead not guilty

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The man and woman arrested in the kidnapping of a woman from the Microtel Inn in Henrietta pleaded not guilty Thursday.

On July 6, a woman was dragged from the hotel lobby and taken in a car. Law enforcement tracked down the victim and the man and woman they say took her from the hotel.

Cordell L. Brooks, 27, and Shuntiayana Sims, 27, both of Rochester, have been charged with second-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault.

Sims and Brooks were also arraigned on a new charge of sex trafficking.

Investigators say the victim was being forced into prostitution and trying to escape. In the security camera footage of the kidnapping, you can see the victim on the far side of the desk, refusing to leave with Sims.

Sims then appears to lose her patience, and drag the victim by her hair toward the door. 

The woman tries to resist, grabbing the desk, the walls and the door frame until she is dragged into the vestibule.

From there, investigators say Brooks comes in and carries the victim to a car.

The two suspects remain in custody and Assistant District Attorney Sara Van Strydonck believes the 27-year-old woman may not be the only victim.

“So everybody saw it, everyone saw the horrific nature of it. They saw because it was on video. Just because its not on video, and sometimes its not doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen,” says Van Strydonck. “If there are more victims we would like to hear from them. It’s certainly something that would be important for the investigation and I can say this is an ongoing and active investigation.”

Van Strydonck says the FBI is involved in the investigation.

The next court appearances will be in September, and a trial is set for January 2024.


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