By Mark Hallum
A Ridgewood man has been charged with sex trafficking by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown for allegedly pimping out two underage girls, 13 and 15, in late 2017.
Eddy Florence, 33, was arraigned before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Peter Vallone Jr. May 23 after cops conducted a search warrant of the man’s 70th Avenue home in December 2017 and found the defendant in bed with the 13-year-old victim, Brown said.
“The defendant in this case is accused of profiting from prostitution by forcing two teenage girls into having sex dates with men for cash,” Brown said. “Once again, I want to emphasize that prostitution is not a victimless crime and that sex trafficking is an incessant act of brutality and degradation that scars its victims for life. The defendant now faces a lengthy term of incarceration for his alleged actions.”
The 43-count indictment included charges beyond sex trafficking. Florence is also to answer to allegations of kidnapping, promoting prostitution, criminal sexual act endangering the welfare of a child, possession of a forged instrument for the credit car embossing machine found in the residence and possession of heroin, among other charges.
Brown said Florence faces up to 50 years if the charges stick.
The 13-year-old victim met Florence in November 2017 when she was living in a group home, according to the DA, who said the child soon began living with Florence and performed sex acts for the defendant.
The defendant was allegedly found naked from the waist down with the younger victim at the time police executed a court-authorized search warrant.
Florence allegedly coerced the two victims into meeting with strangers who responded to ads posted to backp
All the money was handed over to Florence, who threatened the 13-year-old if enough money was not made, according to the DA.
Florence is being held without bail and will return to court Aug. 21.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall