By Sadef Ali Kully
A Hollis man was charged last week with sex trafficking, rape and other related offenses for allegedly forcing a teenager into the sex trade against her will, according to the Queens district attorney.
Dayshawn Preston, 20, from 199th Street in Hollis was accused of kidnapping, rape, sex trafficking, promoting prostitution, assault and menacing before Judge Bruna DiBiase in Queens Criminal Court Feb. 11.
Preston allegedly forced a 19-year-old woman into prostitution and threatened her with a gun to her head when she tried to stop trading sex for cash, DA Richard Brown said.
“The defendant allegedly held a young woman against her will for months and forced her to have sex with men for money in the basement of his family’s Queens home. Prostitution is not a victimless crime,” Brown said.
According to the charges filed by the DA’s office, the victim was allegedly threatened with physical harm in August 2015 and again in February if she did not make at least $500 per night. On occasions when the victim did not turn over $500, she either was deprived of food or a shower or Preston would allegedly hit her in the face, the DA said.
The DA office said the victim was not allowed to leave the basement for several weeks and all forms of identification were taken from her.
But things changed last week when Preston allegedly brought in another young girl to force into prostitution, the authorities said. The first victim was able to grab a phone Feb. 9 and make a 911 call, the DA said.
Brown said the victim made a frantic 911 call, but Preston allegedly caught up with her and the two of them struggled for the phone. He allegedly slammed a heavy skillet into her knee, grabbed her hair and tried to take the phone away from her. The last sound from that 911 recorded call is the high-pitched scream of a woman.
Preston was held on $750,000 bail and his next court date is Feb. 24, the DA said. If convicted, he could face up to 25 years in prison.
Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skull