FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 25, 2022
Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for
Sex Trafficking of Two Teenage Girls
Coerced 16-Year-Old Runaway and Her Friend to Perform Sex for Money
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a man from Flatbush, Brooklyn has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to sex trafficking of a child for forcing two 16-year-old girls to engage in prostitution.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant took advantage of two vulnerable children to make himself money. Child exploitation for sex is a real and persistent problem and I remain committed to investigate, vigorously prosecute and hold accountable anyone who engages in this appalling and harmful conduct.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Steven Bell, 36, of Flatbush, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today to 10 years in prison plus five years’ post-release supervision, and will have to register as a sex offender following his guilty plea last month to sex trafficking of a child.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, a 16-year-old girl who was living in a residential facility outside of New York City left the facility on October 17, 2020, and made her way to Brooklyn, where she met the defendant, who convinced her to engage in prostitution for him.
The defendant, with the help of an unapprehended female, took sexually provocative photos of the teen and posted them online, advertising sex in exchange for money. He had a series of rules regarding how to walk, talk, act, and dress that he made the teen comply with, and he subsequently took all the money she was paid.
In late October, the teen contacted another 16-year-old girl who she knew from a different facility and that girl left the facility and met up with the first teen and the defendant in Brooklyn. The defendant took sexually provocative photos of that teen and posted them online, offering sex in exchange for money. He and his accomplice also took provocative photos of both teens together and posted them in online advertisements.
The teens were trafficked until December 2020. Finally, according to the investigation, the New York City Police Department received information regarding the possible sex trafficking of a 16-year-old girl and an investigation was commenced.
The case was investigated by New York City Police Department Detective Antonio Pagan of the Vice Human Trafficking Team, under the supervision of Sergeant Robert Duplessis, Lieutenant Amy Capogna, Captain Thomas Milano and Inspector Fernando Guimaraes.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Mary E. Monahan, of the District Attorney’s Human Trafficking Unit, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys David Weiss and Sabeeha Madni, Deputy Unit Chiefs, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Miss Gregory, Chief of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.