A South Ozone Park man who liked to be called “Daddy” forced a teenage girl to work for him as a prostitute and physically abused her for a two-year period, prosecutors announced.
Shawn Hawkins, 23, of 122nd Street faces sex trafficking, promoting prostitution, rape and child endangerment charges for exploiting the victim, whom he met in August 2014 when she was just 16 years old, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
“The defendant took advantage of a young girl shortly after she turned sixteen to enslave her and force her to work as a prostitute and to turn all of her earnings over to him,” said District Attorney Brown. “Some would argue that prostitution is a ‘victimless’ crime, it is not. In this case, the victim’s repeated pleas to her alleged trafficker to stop prostituting herself were met by physical abuse and threats of death.”
According to the charges, Hawkins coerced the victim to prostitute herself beginning in August of 2014, soon after the two had a sexual encounter at a Jamaica hotel. He allegedly placed an advertisement with backpage.com which included the victim’s photo.
Between Aug. 14, 2014 and Feb. 2 of this year, prosecutors said, Hawkins allegedly took the victim to a number of Queens locations and forced her into sexual acts with male clients. She was forced to turn over all of her earnings to Hawkins, who demanded that she call him “Daddy.”
Sometimes, when the victim was too tired to work, Hawkins allegedly forced her to take drugs including cocaine, mollie and Xanax, Brown said.
When the victim tried to tell Hawkins that she no longer wanted to be a prostitute, law enforcement sources said, Hawkins assaulted her; in some instances, he threatened to kill her if she didn’t cooperate. He also seized her identification to prevent her from quitting.
Hawkins was ordered held on $500,000 bond or $250,000 cash when he was arraigned on Feb. 2; he’s scheduled to return to court on March 21. If convicted, he could serve up to 25 years behind bars.