A Bronx man was charged with up to 12 years in prison for forcing a teenager to sell sex for money at a Queens motel and beating her if she didn’t raise enough money, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said.
Richard Cabassa, 45, of Davidson Avenue forced the 18-year-old to engage in sexual intercourse and oral sex in a hotel on South Conduit Avenue from Dec. 1, 2015, through Feb. 16, 2016. The victim was told she had to make no less than $600 per day and give all of her earning to Cabassa.
If she made less than $600, the victim was viciously beaten, Brown said. On Feb. 13, 2016, she made only $200 and Cabassa grabbed her by her hair, dragged her down the street and repeatedly kicked her in the torso. The beating only ended when motel employees stopped Cabassa.
According to criminal complaints, later that day Cabassa and the victim were inside the motel when he told her “no one is around to save you now” and punched her in the stomach and bashed her in the head with a lamp and mirror.
“A jury, after weighing all the evidence, convicted the defendant of committing this heinous act,” Brown said. “The defendant through intimidation and violence, forced an 18-year-old teenager into prostitution. He treated this young woman as chattel — a commodity to be sold to others for cash — and then pocketed the money she earned for himself. Prostitution is a degrading and demeaning crime that will not be tolerated in Queens. The defendant will now be incarcerated for his actions.”
Cabassa was charged with second-degree promoting prostitution and was sentenced on Nov. 14 to 6 to 12 years in prison.