FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
East Flatbush Man Indicted for Sex Trafficking of 16-Year-Old Girl
Indictment Marks the First Time in Brooklyn a Defendant is Charged Under
New Sex Trafficking of a Child Statute
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that an East Flatbush man has been charged in a 12-count indictment with sex trafficking of a child, sex trafficking, promoting prostitution and related charges for allegedly forcing a 16-year-old girl to have sex with men for money and then turn over that money to him. He’s also charged with assaulting a pregnant woman who tried to rescue the teen.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant allegedly treated a young girl as a piece of property, assaulting her and forcing her to work in the sex trade. In Brooklyn we are committed to protecting all victims of predatory and violent behavior. We will now seek to hold him accountable for his alleged actions.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Jermaine Taylor, 34, of East Flatbush, Brooklyn. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which he is charged with sex trafficking of a child, sex trafficking, second- and fourth-degree promoting prostitution, third-degree rape, second- and third-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child. He faces up to 32 years in prison if convicted of the top counts and will have to register as a sex offender. He was ordered held on bail of $500,000 bond or $250,000 cash and to return to court on August 7, 2019.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, between May 1, 2018 and March 6, 2019, the defendant forced a 16-year-old girl to work as a prostitute on multiple occasions in Brooklyn and Queens. The investigation revealed that in addition to the minor victim, the defendant had multiple other girls that he promoted for prostitution for his personal gain.
It is alleged that the defendant slapped and punched the minor victim on multiple occasions and threatened to kill her when she told him she wanted to stop working as a prostitute.
Furthermore, it is alleged that a 28-year-old pregnant acquaintance of the victim and the defendant were in a vehicle together on August 6, 2018, when the woman attempted to rescue the minor victim. This attempted rescue allegedly prompted the defendant to push the pregnant woman out of his car. The defendant then allegedly struck the woman with his vehicle and fled the scene with the minor victim.
The minor victim was rescued by police on March 6, 2019 after intelligence collected by our office informed police about her whereabouts.
The sex trafficking of a child statute was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo in November 2018. Under the new law, prosecutors will no longer have to prove that force, fraud or coercion was used against the underage victims and thus will spare the victims from testifying in many instances. This indictment marks the first time in Brooklyn a defendant is charged under the new sex trafficking of a child statute.
The case was investigated by Detective John Zerafa of the New York City Police Department/Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Human Trafficking Task Force, under the supervision of Lieutenant Joseph Picarello and Captain Thomas Milano, and the overall supervision of Inspector James Klein, Commanding Officer of the NYPD’s Vice Enforcement Division.
The District Attorney thanked Special Agents from the FBI’s Crimes Against Children Squad in New York, Detective Theresa Nietzel from the Erie County Sherriff’s Office, Manhattan North Fugitive Warrants division along with the Jersey City Police Department for their assistance in the investigation.
Senior Intelligence Analyst Brooke Middleton of the District Attorney’s Crime Strategies Unit assisted in the investigation.
The case is being 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.
An indictment is merely an accusation and not proof of a defendant’s guilt