BY KIRSTEN E. PAULSON
A Forest Hills man will serve six to 12 years in prison for prostituting and having sexual relations with two teenage girls in 2011, prosecutors announced.
Peter Gerardi, 30, was convicted in November on multiple counts of compelling and promoting prostitution, 21 counts of statutory rape, 11 counts of statutory criminal sex act, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. In addition to prison time, Gerardi must also serve five years of post-release supervision and register with the state’s sex offender registry.
According to court documents, Gerardi approached a 13-year-old girl on the street in March 2011 and befriended her. Shortly after, he asked her to perform sexual acts with men in exchange for money, which she reluctantly agreed to. However, when she didn’t follow through, he became violently angry, physically and verbally threatening her with bodily harm if she left him. Gerardi also had sex with the victim and had her perform oral sex on him numerous times.
Between March 2011 and September 2011, Gerardi pimped the girl out to numerous men. During the same time, he forced a 16-year-old girl to work as a prostitute for him as well.
Gerardi was arrested on parole violation in September 2011, at which point the two girls escaped from him. Gerardi called the 13-year-old victim several times telling her to make money for him. When she refused, he sent two female friends to beat her up. The victim reported Gerardi to authorities after the incident.
District Attorney Richard A. Brown said, “The defendant has been convicted of taking advantage of two vulnerable young women and forcing them to participate in a modern-day version of slavery by coercing them to work as prostitutes for their financial gain through threats of physical harm and intimidation. Prostitution is not a victimless crime but a terrifying and despicable offense against society and the young women it enslaves. It cannot—and will not—be tolerated in Queens County.”