A St. Albans man is going to jail for up to eight years after pleading guilty to attempted sex trafficking charges earlier this month, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Joseph Gilbert, 26, was sentenced on Friday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Peter F. Vallone Jr.
Prosecutors said that Gilbert forced a then 16-year-old girl to work for him as a prostitute from December 2016 to March 2017, according to the charges. During that time, Gilbert coerced the teenager into having sex for money inside a senior citizen residence where the two were staying with an older drug-addicted resident. Gilbert then pocketed pocketed the teen’s earnings.
Authorities said that Gilbert also threatened the girl and on at least one occasion pummeled the teenager when she told him she no longer wanted to work as a prostitute, according to the charges.
In March 2017, the teenager escaped from the senior home and later identified Gilbert and the location of the Jamaica senior home to law enforcement officials, according to the charges.
“The defendant forced this young woman — who was just 16 years old at the time — into this horrific sex trafficking industry,” Brown said. “The trauma this teenage girl suffered is incomprehensible and is something she will have to live with for the rest of her life. The sentence imposed by the Court is appropriate given the vile nature of the crime committed.”