Woman accused in Henrietta kidnapping case pleads guilty

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – One of the two people accused of kidnapping a woman from a Henrietta motel has admitted her guilt.

Investigators say Shuntiayana Sims and Cordell Brooks forced the woman into prostitution and assaulted her when she tried to escape on July 6 from the Microtel Inn.

Surveillance video from the lobby shows the victim talking to a clerk in the lobby. A woman, identified by police as Sims, walks in and grabs the victim, who tries to no avail to hold onto the counter.

The woman identified as Sims drags the victim by her hair toward the door and into vestibule, the victim fighting every step of the way. From there, a man identified by police as Brooks comes in and carries her out to the parking lot.

The clerk called 911. Police soon found the victim, Sims, and Cordell Brooks in a car in northeast Rochester. Sims and Brooks were arrested.

On Wednesday, Sims admitted her guilt in front of Judge Victoria Argento. She pleaded guilty to second-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault.

“She admitted to dragging the victim by her hair, punching her repeatedly, getting her in that car, causing her physical injuries,” Assistant District Attorney Rachel Clark said.

Her office has had multiple conversations with the victim, who is from outside the area, and continues to investigate if there are other victims.

Sims was also facing human trafficking and promoting prostitution charges, but those were dropped as part of the plea deal.

Eriketa Cost, News10NBC: “Anything you learned about the relationship between her and Cordell, how they were working together?”

Joe Lobosco, Sims’ attorney: “I think its pretty clear from the evidence, that Cordell was the leader, however you want to refer to him, but Shuntiayana was, his, worker, I think, is probably a fair way to put it.”

Cost: “So she was employed by him?”

Lobosco: “She did what he wanted her to do.”

Sims is facing between five and 20 years in prison. A sentencing date has not been set. Meanwhile, the case against Brooks is pending.