FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
East New York Man Sentenced for Sex Trafficking of Philadelphia Teen
Received 4 ½ to 9 Years in State Prison
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that an East New York man who pleaded guilty to sex trafficking last month was sentenced to 4 ½ to 9 years in prison for the sex trafficking of a Philadelphia teen. He also promoted the prostitution of eight other victims ranging in age from 15 to 21 years old.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant preyed on vulnerable young women, luring them to New York City to work as prostitutes, drugging and using physical violence against those who refused. I will continue to seek justice for sex trafficking victims.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Tariq Washington, a.k.a., Ricky, 23, of East New York. Washington pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking last month before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun who today sentenced him to 4 ½ to 9 years in prison. He is required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison. Charges are still pending against a co-defendant, Jonathan Harris, a.k.a., Jayo, 26, of East New York.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, between March 2015 and December 2016, the defendants prostituted nine young women, the majority of whom were ages 15 and 16, in Brooklyn, after luring most of them to the city from out of state, including Philadelphia, Baltimore and Cleveland. The defendants located the women on Backpage.com and it is alleged that they then texted them and invited them to come to New York to be prostituted, sending them bus tickets and then posting their photos on Backpage.com.
It is alleged that the defendants rented several rooms at various motels in Brooklyn and elsewhere, and drove the women to the locations where men paid to have sex with them.
Furthermore, according to the investigation, it is alleged that the defendants gave the girls drugs and physically assaulted them if they refused to work as prostitutes.
The 18-year-old sex trafficking victim had come to Brooklyn with a 17-year-old friend after that girl was allegedly contacted by Washington and lured to Brooklyn. The younger girl left after a few days and returned to Philadelphia. The 18-year-old, who had allegedly been beaten and raped by Harris, escaped and went to the police for help two months later.
The case was investigated by New York City Police Department Detective David Mills and Detective James Rufle of the Human Trafficking Team, Vice Enforcement Division, under the supervision of Sergeant Faoud Zahirudin, Lieutenant Christopher Sharpe and Captain Thomas Milano, and the overall supervision of Inspector James Klein.
Senior Intelligence Analyst Brooke Middleton of the District Attorney’s Crime Strategies Unit and KCDA Digital Forensic Analyst Thomas Woodburn assisted in the investigation.
The District Attorney thanked Special Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore field offices for their assistance in the investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney David Weiss, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Human Trafficking Unit, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Miss Gregory, Chief of the Special Victims Bureau.