Forced Girl Into Sex Sales In So. Oz. Pk.
Two 21-year-old men have been sentenced to three to nine years in prison following a guilty plea earlier this month to sex trafficking for forcing a 14-year-old girl to work as a prostitute in South Ozone Park and to turn over all of her earnings to them, it was announced.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown identified the pair as Shaquan Gould, 21, of 123rd Street in South Ozone Park and Evan Harrington, 21, of East 234th Street in the Bronx.
Each of the defendants was sentenced on Tuesday, Oct. 23, to an indeterminate term of three to nine years in prison by Queens Supreme Court Justice Steven W. Paynter.
“Sex trafficking is a serious and disturbing crime that my office continues to vigorously pursue and prosecute,” Brown said. “Hopefully [the] sentencing will provide some measure of justice for the young victim in this case and allow her to move on with her life. “
According to the criminal case, on Apr. 19, the 14-year-old victim met with Harrington and he took her to a residence located at 123rd Street, where she met with Gould.
The two defendants told the victim to engage in prostitution acts at the residence and to give all of her earnings to them. On multiple occasions between Apr. 19 and Apr. 26, according to the charges, the victim told Harrington that she no longer wanted to work for the defendants. Reportedly, she was told that she could not leave and also struck about the face and body by Harrington.
The victim managed to escape from the house on Apr. 26, and call a relative, who then called police.
Brown noted that the defendants’ guilty pleas bring to eight the number of sex trafficking convictions obtained by his office since state legislation strengthening penalties against human trafficking and providing assistance to victims took effect on Nov. 1, 2007.
The investigation was conducted by Det. Eric Echevarria, of the NYPD Vice Enforcement Division, Major Case Squad, under the super- vision of Sgt. Michael Daly and Lt. Michael Costello, and the overall supervision of Deputy Inspector Anthony Favale.
Assistant District Attorney Jasmine H. Chang of the District Attorney’s Special Proceedings Bureau prosecuted the case, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Jessica L. Melton, 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.