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S Ozone pimp pleads guilty

Photo by Nykeema Williams
By Rebecca Henely

A 33-year-old South Ozone Park man pleaded guilty to sex trafficking in Queens Supreme Court Friday for pimping out an adolescent girl, the Queens district attorney’s office said.

The sex trafficking conviction of Michael Summerville, of 128th Street and 135th Avenue, is the fifth to come out of the office since sex trafficking became a felony in 2007, District Attorney Richard Brown said. The change in classification of the crime made its perpetrators subject to harsher punishments in 2007, the DA said.

Summerville pleaded in front of acting Supreme Court Judge James Griffin, who plans to sentence Summerville to five to 10 years in prison, the DA said.

“Today’s guilty plea and the promised sentence of incarceration will help deter others who traffic in vulnerable girls by first gaining their trust and then betraying that trust,” the DA said in a statement.

Summerville became the friend of a 14-year-old runaway, in January 2010, the DA said. Sometime afterward, Summerville had sex with her and then pimped her out to others, the DA said.

The young woman returned home at an undisclosed time, but in October of that year, when she went to Summerville’s home in Brooklyn to get a cell phone and computer he had taken from her, Summerville took her to his South Ozone Park home, where he began having sex with her and pimping her out again while keeping the profits for himself, the DA said.

Summerville continued to abuse the then-15-year-old girl until Oct. 31, 2010, when he gave her to another pimp, who also had sex with her and prostituted her to others, the DA said. The victim eventually escaped, the DA said.

The NYPD’s Vice Enforcement Division found Summerville through a phone number supplied to them by the victim and which Summerville also used in ads placed on backpage.com, the DA said. Undercover officers went to Summerville’s home Dec. 1, 2010, where four women offered to have sex with them in exchange for $90 per girl, the DA said.

After giving one of the women $360, she brought it to a back room, the DA said. When the policemen entered there later, they found Summerville with the $360 in his pants pocket.

Backpage.com, which is owned by Village Voice Media, has been the subject of criticism and a lawsuit alleging it does not do enough to prevent the promotion of juvenile prostitution.

Summerville had been held at Rikers Island in lieu of a $250,000 bail since his arrest, the DA said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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