A Kew Gardens teenager was indicted on Feb. 10 for forcing a 14-year-old girl into prostituting herself to a 23-year-old alleged drug dealer from Richmond Hill in order to pay off a debt, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced.
According to the criminal complaint provided by Brown’s office, the incident started when the 14-year-old victim sent a naked video of herself as a joke to a similarly aged female friend through the popular app Snapchat between Jan. 1, 2016, and March 8, 2016.
The friend then shared the video with Jacob Marcial, 18, of 129th Street in Kew Gardens, who threatened to release the video if the victim did not have sex with Albert Premnauth, 23, of Jamaica Avenue, Marcial’s alleged drug dealer, to pay off his debt.
“This case tragically demonstrates the danger of children sending explicit images or videos of themselves to their friends or posting them on social media — even as a joke. Once a young person sends or posts an image or video, they lose control of that image and who has it or how it is used,” Brown said. “In this case, it is alleged that the victim sent a naked video of herself to her 14-year-old girlfriend as a joke on Snapchat after which the video ended up in the hands of the 18-year-old defendant who used the video to threaten the victim into doing his biding. It is alleged that in spite of her crying and pleas that she was only 14 years old and begging the other defendant to give her time to pay the money owed him instead of engaging in sexual intercourse with him, he refused.”
Marcial allegedly set up a meeting between the victim and Premnauth at his home, the complaint noted. During the arranged meeting, the victim allegedly told Premnauth that she was only 14 years old and pleaded with the drug dealer to give her time to get the money to him for Marcial’s alleged debt instead of being forced to have sex with him.
Prosecutors said that Premnauth refused the young girl’s offer and engaged in sexual acts with the victim. He then paid her $100 in cash and a pair of Beats by Dre headphones. The victim allegedly handed over the cash and the headphones to Marcial, who promptly sold them to pay back his debt to Premnauth.
Marcial was charged with three counts of sex trafficking, two counts of second-degree promoting prostitution, one count of second-degree rape, one count of second-degree criminal sexual act, two counts of second-degree coercion and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.
Premnauth was charged with one count of second-degree rape, one count of second-degree criminal sexual act, two counts of second-degree coercion and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.
If convicted, Marcial faces up to 25 years in prison, while Premnauth faces up to seven years in prison.
Marcial and Premnauth were arraigned on Feb. 10 before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Lenora Gerald. Bail was set at $15,000 bond/$10,000 cash for both defendants. Marcial’s next scheduled court appearance is March 22, and Premnauth is due back in court on May 8.