Anthony Vargas, 22, of 106-60 Ruscoe Street in Jamaica, was sentenced to up to 12 years in state prison. He pleaded guilty on November 1 to befriending a teenage runaway, hiding her in what Brown's office called an “inhabitable” apartment with no running water, where he had repeated sexual and oral intercourse with her between April 2 and 10 of 2010.
According to the charges, Vargas took the girl to several locatons around Queens where she was sold for sex. In addition, he repeatedly left her inside a small room in the Ruscoe Street apartment with no way for her to exit.
On April 12, 2010, detectives in the Police Department's Missing Persons Squad went to the address in search of the girl, pried open a locked door and rescued her. Vargas was apprehended roughly seven months later in Newport News, Virginia.
According to the charges in the second case, the victim met Raymond Warren, 31, of 340 Bainbridge Street in Brooklyn, in 2009 and began a relationship with him in which she allegedly initially agreed to prostitute herself and turn the proceeds over to him.
However, after a short time she told Warren she wanted to stop, he allegedly told her “No, you will stop when I tell you to stop. I'm your daddy,” according to Brown's office.
In between early 2010 and October 21, 2011, Warren allegedly made the victim have sex with numerous men in Queens on nearly a daily basis. He allegedly took her to Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights where he made her walk along the street, have sex with men and turn the money over to him, according to Brown's office.
Warren also allegedly took the victim to an Internet cafe, had her place ads on craigslist.com, and meet responders in various hotel rooms around Queens.
Brown's office further alleged that starting in early 2010, Warren repeatedly struck the victim in her head and body when she told him she wanted to stop prostituting. In 2011, he allegedly stabbed her several times in the arm with a pen, leaving half-inch deep lacerations and scars.
On October 19, 2011, Warren pleaded guilty in Manhattan to third-degree assault for abusing the victim and was served a full order of protection requiring him to stay away from her, but he later pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal contempt for violating the order. He allegedly sent her a threatening text on September 27, 2011, which included the words “You want to die.”
According to Brown's office, the victim continued prostituting for him out of fear for her life.
On October 21, Warren was arrested after allegedly offering the victim and another female to an undercover police officer for sex in exchange for $180. It is also alleged that Warren threatened to have “his boys” physically harm the officer.
“These two cases make it clear that prostitution is not a victimless crime but a terrifying and despicable – and often times violent – offense against the young women that it enslaves without hope and victimizes one day at a time,” Brown said in a statement.
Warren was arraigned last week on a 14-count indictment charging him with sex-trafficking, second and third-degree promoting prostitution, and aggravated first and second-degree criminal contempt. Warren faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted, is being held without bail and ordered to return to court on January 11, 2012.
“The action taken in these cases not only demonstrates how seriously we take the victimization of these women but ensures that these men are held accountable for their actions,” Brown said.
Legislation enacted on June 6, 2007, strengthened penalties against human trafficking, making it a class B felony and requiring convicted perpetrators to register with the state as sex offenders. Under the legislation, victims are entitled to counseling, treatment and other social services from the Crime Victims Board.