Four New Yorkers have been charged with trafficking young girls in New York City, abusing the children and forcing them to work as prostitutes, according to Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes.
In November of last year, Melinda Carmichael, 22, allegedly introduced a 12-year-old girl to Gary Whitfield, 29, promising the adolescent “easy money and luxurious gifts,” but instead pimped her out for 10 months, according to the DA.
“They required the child to walk the street, pick up men and perform oral sex for money,” Hynes said. “The defendants in these cases are the lowest of the low.”
In an unrelated case, the DA alleges that Kendale “Ace” Judge, 21, committed similar atrocities with a 13-year-old runaway.
Judge met the girl in September of this year and gained her trust by promising to take care of her, Hynes said.
Judge and his accomplice, Shanique Davis, 19, held the girl captive and took lewd photographs of her to advertise her to clients. When she repeatedly tried to escape, Judge “beat her with belts and his bare hands,” said Hynes.
Both girls were able to escape and all four defendants were charged with sex trafficking. They could each face up to 25 years in prison.
An inside look at sex trafficking
The Brooklyn Sex Trafficking Unit is staffed with attorneys, paralegals and social workers trained to handle the growing problem of trafficking in New York City.
The teens trafficked may seem young, but the district attorney’s office said the average age of trafficked girls is between 12 and 14, and between 11 and 13 for boys.
In many instances, Hynes said, the children escape with only the clothes on their back.
“We try to place them in the most stable custody we can,” said Sex Trafficking Unit Chief Lauren Hersh.
Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter @EmilyatMetro.