So. Ozone Park Man Faces Jail Term
A 33-year-old South Ozone Park man pled guilty to the sex trafficking of a female runaway between the ages of 14 and 15 whom he forced to perform sexual acts for pay at various locations in Queens County.
He was identified by Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown as Michael Summerville, 33, of 128th Street in South Ozone Park, who has been held in jail in lieu of $250,000 bail since his arrest in December 2010.
Summerville pleaded guilty last Thursday, Mar. 22, to the crime of sex trafficking before Acting Supreme Court Justice James P. Griffin, who set sentencing for Apr. 17; Griffin indicated that he would sentence him to an indeterminate term of five to 10 years in prison.
Brown noted that Summerville’s guilty plea is the fifth sex trafficking conviction obtained by his office since state legislation strengthening penalties against human trafficking and providing assistance to victims took effect on Nov. 1, 2007. The defendants in the four other cases are all serving state prison sentences rang- from two to six years to 25 years to life.
“[Summerville] preyed on a vulnerable and troubled teenage girl, using her first for his own sexual gratification and then as a commodity to be sold to others for cash which he then pocketed for himself,” Brown said in a statement released last Friday, Mar. 23. “[The] guilty plea and the promised sentence of incarceration will help to deter others who traffic in vulnerable girls by first gaining their trust and then betraying that trust.”
According to the criminal charges, Summerville befriended the then 14-year-old victim in January 2010 after she ran away from home. Engaging in sexual activity with her, Summerville eventually pimped her out until she managed to return home.
In October 2010, the victim, then age 15, ran away again and returned to Summerville’s Brooklyn home to retrieve a cell phone and computer that he had taken. She was then brought to his home, where she stayed with him until approximately Oct. 31, 2010. During that time, he engaged in sexual activities with her and had her engage in prostitution on a daily basis-along with other females- and forced her to give all of her earnings to him.
On Oct. 31, 2010, according to the charges, Summerville then turned the girl over to another pimp who had sex with her and forced her to engage in prostitution until she was eventually able to escape.
Summerville was summarily arrested in December 2010 following an undercover investigation by the NYPD’s Vice Enforcement Division based on information provided by the victim-the telephone number that the defendant used in his backpage.com ad.
On the night of Dec. 1, 2010, undercover officers went to Summerville’s residence and were met by four females, each of whom offered to have sexual intercourse with the officers in exchange for money. The officers paid one of the females a total fee of $360 ($90 per girl) in prerecorded buy money, which she then brought to a back room.
Shortly thereafter, the officers entered the back room where they observed Summerville and recovered the $360 in buy money from his pants pocket.
The investigation was conducted by Det. Salvatore Molino of the NYPD Special Victims Squad, under the supervision of Lt. Arthur Hall, and by Det. Brian Stassi of the NYPD’s Queens Vice Enforcement Division under the supervision of Sgt. Michael Jones and the overall supervision of Chief Brian Conroy.
Assistant District Attorney Jessica L. Melton of the District Attorney’s Special Proceedings Bureau prosecuted the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Anthony M. Communiello, bureau chief, and Assistant District Attorney Oscar W. Ruiz, deputy bureau chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Peter A. Crusco and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Linda M. Cantoni.