By Ivan Pereira
A pair of suspected pimps was indicted last week on charges of kidnapping a teenage girl and forcing her to work out of a Jamaica motel as a prostitute, the Queens district attorney said.
Ismael LaChapelle, 22, of 179th Street, and Jasmine Goodwin, 26, were both ordered held on bail after they were charged with several criminal counts, including kidnapping, sex trafficking and endangering the welfare of a child, Queens DA Richard Brown said.
The two allegedly coerced a runaway 14-year-old into working as their prostitute and along with an unapprehended man reaped the money she received for her services, according to the DA.
“Unfortunately, for the victim, she discovered all too late that few activities are as brutal and dehumanizing as prostitution. Instead of making money, the victim was allegedly forced to turn over all the money she earned to the male defendant,” he said in a statement.
On May 23, Goodwin, also known as Holly and J. Hollytsunami Goodwin and supposedly the teen’s friend, called the victim after she ran away from home and offered her a chance to make money, the DA said.
Goodwin allegedly ordered the girl to go to the Kew Motor Inn, at 139-01 Grand Central Pkwy., and when she got there was introduced to LaChapelle and the third suspect, who were going to act as her pimps, according to Brown. Goodwin reassured the victim that she would be safe, but LaChapelle took erotic photos of the girl and posted them on an escort website, Brown said.
He gave the girl a phone and allegedly told her not to leave the motel room while she was working for him, the DA said. LaChapelle allegedly had sex with the girl on one occasion, according to Brown.
From May 24 to May 26, the girl had five or six calls for prostitution, and each time LaChapelle would take the money she earned, Brown said.
On May 27, an undercover officer visited the motel after he saw a sex ad on the Internet for the victim and arrested her after she offered him sex for $100, the DA said. The victim allegedly told the officer that she wanted to stop working but was scared, according to the DA.
LaChapelle was arrested later that day when he returned to the room to collect his money and was indicted by a grand jury Friday, Brown said.
He was ordered to return to court Nov. 30 while his alleged accomplice, who was indicted last Thursday, was ordered to return to court Nov. 15, the DA said.
If convicted on all of his charges, LaChapelle faces up to 25 years to life in prison while Goodwin faces up to 25 years in prison, according to Brown.
The DA pointed out that his office will prosecute the suspects using the sex trafficking laws that were enacted by the state four years ago and create tougher penalties for convicted pimps.
“Fortunately, state lawmakers have given prosecutors a new tool to bring those who victimize and exploit such vulnerable individuals to justice and put them behind bars for a long time,” he said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.