By Bill Parry
A Corona man, and his brother from Brooklyn were sentenced to prison lastThursday in a 2014 gunpoint sex trafficking case in which a 25-year-old woman was allegedly “sold” to them for $200 and then held against her will for a week during which she was forced to have sex for money, according to prosecutors.
Evan Hernandez, 25, of Corona, was introduced to the woman on April 15, 2014 at the Queens Motor Inn at 64-11 Queens Blvd. by another woman who disappeared the following morning with the victim’s belongings. Hernandez returned to the motel, 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 had to work for him to repay the debt, according to the criminal complaint filed by the Queens district attorney.
Hernandez then brought his brother, Richard Hernandez, 27, to the motel to watch the 25-year-old victim and not let her leave. The brothers held the woman at gunpoint at the motel for six more days, forcing her to have sex with them and numerous men in exchange for cash, all of which she was required to turn over to them, the complaint said.
At one point, Evan Hernandez took the victim’s phone and posted pictures of her on backp
During her ordeal, the victim was threatened at gunpoint by Evan Hernandez, who said he was her pimp and could kill her at any time if she did not obey him, according to the criminal complaint. He also slapped and punched the victim and put his gun against her numerous times, repeating she was not free to leave and that she had to make more money by prostituting, officials said..
On April 21, 2014, the victim managed to call her mother from a client’s phone and her mother, in turn, called 911 and alerted police to the victim’s location, officials said.
“This case makes it abundantly clear that prostitution is not a victimless crime but a terrifying and despicable crime against society, and the young women that it enslaves,” Queens DA Richard Brown said.
Evan Hernandez pleaded guilty to sex trafficking and was sentenced by Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory L. Lasak to 41/2 to nine years in prison, Brown said. Richard Hernandez, who pleaded guilty to promoting, was sentenced to three to six years in prison, officials said.
“The sentence imposed by the court punishes both defendants for their actions and sends a clear message that crimes such as these will not be tolerated in Queens County,” Brown said.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr