Held Females Captive In Their Residence
A St. Albans man and his girlfriend have pleaded guilty to sex trafficking in connection with the prostitution of two young women-a 19-year-old runaway from Rockland County and a 20-year-old from New York City-against their will.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown identified the defendants as Hikeem L. Green, 39, and Darcell Marshall, 22, both of Springfield Boulevard in St. Albans. Appearing last Tuesday, May 28, before Queens Supreme Court Justice John B. Latella, Jr., Green pleaded guilty to two counts of sex trafficking and Marshall pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 11, at which time Justice Latella is expected to sentence Green to six to 12 years in prison and Marshall to one to three years in prison.
“By pleading guilty, [Green and Marshall] admitted forcing two young women to work as prostitutes for the defendants’ financial gain,” Brown said. “These guilty pleas ensure a conviction and enable the trou- bled young victims in the case to move on with their lives.”
According to the investigation, Green first took custody of the two women separately by pretending to be a “john” (prostitution customer) and picking them up on “tracks” (known prostitution locations frequented by prostitutes and their customers) in the Bronx and Brooklyn. He then told them that he was a pimp and that they now had to work as prostitutes for him.
Green kept the two women imprisoned inside the Springfield Boulevard location between October and December 2012, during which time he took photographs of both victims and posted them on the adult website directory, backpage.com, to advertise their services as prostitutes.
Numerous men responded to the ads and the victims met with them either at the Springfield Boulevard address or other locations in Queens where they were forced to perform various sexual acts with the men for money, which they had to turn over to Green and Marshall.
Brown said that state legislation strengthening penalties against human trafficking and providing assistance to victims was enacted on June 6, 2007, and took effect on Nov. 1, 2007. Among the legislation’s provisions was the creation of a class B felony-“sex trafficking”-for perpetrators who profit from prostitution by engaging in sex trafficking; requiring those convicted of sex trafficking to register as sex offenders with the state; providing social service assistance to victims-such as temporary housing, health and mental health treatment and drug addiction treatment; and ensuring that sex trafficking victims are eligible for services from the Crime Victims Board.
Since the enactment of the statute, his office has convicted 11 defendants on sex trafficking charges, according to Brown.
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.