By Rebecca Henely
A Queens grand jury indicted a Yonkers man on sex trafficking charges last week after he allegedly prostituted three teenage girls in Jackson Heights and throughout the city, the Queens district attorney’s office said.
Kenyan Price, 36, of Orchard Street in Yonkers, N.Y., allegedly pimped out the 15-, 16- and 18-year-old girls through prostitution ads on backpage.com from March 2012 to November 2012, the DA said. Undercover NYPD officers responded to the ads and met up with the victimized young women, one of whom claimed Price threatened to expose her as a prostitute to her family when she asked to leave, the DA said.
“While technology has moved prostitution from the city sidewalks to the back alleys of online classified services, the sexual predators who force young women to participate in a modern-day version of slavery by coercing them through threats of physical harm still remains,” District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.
Price was arrested and arraigned before acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron Feb. 27 after a jury indicted him on two counts of sex trafficking, five counts of promoting prostitution and one count of endangering the welfare of a child, the DA said. The charges could put Price in jail for up to 25 years if he is convicted, the DA said.
An NYPD officer found the 15-year-old and 18-year-old girls at a Jackson Heights address at 1:30 a.m. Nov. 30 after responding to one of the backpage.com ads, the DA said. The girls had gotten out of a 1998 Ford Expedition that Price was driving, and both offered to have sex with the officer for $150 cash, the DA said.
The 18-year-old girl later revealed to the officer that Price had allegedly employed her as a prostitute for eight months, taken photos of her in her underwear for publication on backpage.com and driven her to places throughout the city to have sex with men for money, the DA said.
All money she made was allegedly turned over to Price, the DA said. When the 18-year-old girl told Price she wanted to stop having sex with men for money, he threatened to tell her mother and boyfriend, the DA said. She also said she was afraid he would hurt her after she allegedly saw him punching another teenage girl who worked for him as a prostitute in the face, the DA said.
The 15-year-old girl said Price allegedly had her have sex with men and took the money from last summer through November, the DA said.
The 16-year-old girl was found after Price allegedly dropped her off in a Ford Expedition at a midtown Manhattan hotel Feb. 28 at 12:28 p.m. to meet an undercover officer who responded to a backpage.com ad, the DA said. The girl allegedly offered to have sex with the officer for $240, the DA said.
Price is being held on $750,000 bail and his next court date is May 15, the DA said.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.