A 20-year-old man has been charged with allegedly holding a 19-year-old girl against her will inside the basement of his family’s home and forcing her into prostitution, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
Dayshawn Preston of 199th Street in Hollis was arraigned on Wednesday charges of first-degree kidnapping, first-degree rape, sex trafficking, second-degree promoting prostitution, third-degree assault and second-degree menacing. He was ordered held on $750,000 bail and his next court date is scheduled for Feb. 24; if convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.
“The defendant allegedly held a young woman against her will for months and forced her to have sex with men for money in the basement of his family’s Queens home,” Brown said. “Prostitution is not a victimless crime. The woman — still in her teens — was threatened, beaten and escaped from her ordeal only after making a desperate call to 911. That call ended with her screaming as the defendant — allegedly struck her with a frying pan. The defendant faces a lengthy prison term for sex trafficking a very violent and degrading crime that cannot be tolerated.”
Between Aug. 1, 2015, and Feb. 9, prosecutors said, Preston allegedly raped and beat then teen while forcing her to remain in the basement of his family’s home in Jamaica. He allegedly took the victim’s birth certificate, social security card and state ID, claiming she was now “his property” and therefore didn’t need to be in possession of the items.
The teen, along with another, younger female victim, was allegedly forced to have sex with men for money and was repeatedly threatened with physical harm if she didn’t make at least $500 per night. On occasions when the victim didn’t turn over $500, she either was allegedly deprived of food or a shower or struck in the face.
On Feb. 9, Brown said, the victim was able to grab a cellphone and run away from the house. She made a frantic 911 call, but Preston allegedly caught up with her and the two of them struggled for the phone. The phone eventually fell to the ground during the struggle and the last sound from that 911 recorded call is the high-pitched scream of a woman.