Three men have been found guilty of forcing women or teen girls into acts of prostitution in two separate Queens cases, according to authorities.
Peter Gerardi, 30, of Forest Hills, faces up to 25 years in prison after being found guilty of 40 felony charges relating to the recruiting, prostituting and statutory rape of two girls aged 13 and 16.
Gerardi—who goes by the street name “Prince”—was out on parole from a previous crime when he approached and befriended a 13-year-old girl on the street in March 2011, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
The defendant asked the teen to perform sexual acts with men in exchange for money and provided her with rules to follow, instructions on how much to charge and to lie about her age, among other things. She reluctantly agreed to prostitute herself for him but when she didn’t follow through on his orders, he would become violently angry and physically abusive toward her. Gerardi also had sex with the victim and had her perform oral sex on him on multiple occasions.
From March 2011 and September 2011, prosecutors said, he made the victim have sex with numerous men in exchange for money, which she was required to turn over to him. During this time period, Gerardi also forced a 16-year-old girl – whom he also met on the street – to work as a prostitute for him through threats of physical violence.
The two girls escaped from him when Gerardi was arrested on a parole violation in September 2011. Later, Gerardi called the 13-year-old victim numerous times asking her to make money for him. When she refused, Gerardi had two female friends of his approach the victim and threaten her on his behalf, and they then repeatedly punched and slapped her. Afterwards, the victim reported Gerardi to authorities.
In the second case, Evan and Richard Hernandez pleaded guilty to felony charges in a sex trafficking case, according to District Attorney Brown. Evan Hernandez pleaded guilty to sex trafficking and faces 4.5 to nine years in prison. Richard Hernandez pleaded guilty to second-degree promoting prostitution, and could be sentenced to three to six years in prison.
Court documents say that Evan Hernandez was introduced to the 25-year-old female victim by another woman on April 15, 2014, at the Queens Motor Inn on Queens Boulevard in Woodside.
The following morning, the other woman disappeared with most of the victim’s belongings. Evan Hernandez returned to the Queens Motor Inn and, while holding a gun to her head, told the victim that the other woman had sold her to him for $200 and that she now needed to work for him as a prostitute to repay the debt. Evan Hernandez then brought his brother to the Queens Motor Inn to watch the victim and not let her leave.
That same day, both brothers forced the victim to have sexual intercourse with them while Evan Hernandez held a gun to her head and also forced her to perform oral sex on him. On two other occasions that month, the victim was forced to have sexual intercourse with Richard Hernandez at the Queens Motor Inn.
The two brothers kept the victim inside the Queens Motor Inn between April 16 to 21, 2014, and forced her to have sexual intercourse with numerous men in exchange for cash, all of which she was required to turn over to Evan and Richard Hernandez.
During this time, Evan Hernandez threatened the victim, stating that he was her pimp and that he would kill her at any time if she did not obey him. He also slapped and punched the victim and put his gun against her numerous times, stating that she was not free to leave and that she had to make more money by prostituting.
On April 21, 2014, the victim called her mother from a client’s phone and her mother called 911 and alerted the police to the victim’s location.