A Forest Hills, Queens man is facing up to 12 years in prison for the recruitment, prostitution and statutory rape of two teen girls — one as young as 13, prosecutors said.
Peter Gerardi, 30, was convicted last November of two counts of compelling prostitution, two counts of second-degree promoting prostitution, two counts of third-degree promoting prostitution, 21 counts of statutory rape, 11 counts of statutory criminal sex act and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
He was sentenced this week to concurrent prison terms on each count, the longest being an indeterminate term of six to 12 years in prison, according to the district attorney’s office. Gerardi must also serve five years of post-release supervision following his imprisonment.
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“The defendant has been convicted of taking advantage of two vulnerable young women and forcing them to participate in a modern day version of slavery by coercing them to work as prostitutes for their financial gain through threats of physical harm and intimidation. Prostitution is not a victimless crime but a terrifying and despicable offense against society and the young women that it enslaves. It cannot — and will not —be tolerated in Queens County,” District Attorney Richard Brown said.
According to Brown, Gerardi, while on parole in March 2011, recruited the first victim, then 13, by befriending her on the street.
“Shortly thereafter he asked her to perform sexual acts with men in exchange for money and provided her with rules to follow, instructions on how much to charge and told her to lie about her age, among other things. She reluctantly agreed to prostitute herself for him but that when she didn’t follow through on his orders, he would become violently angry toward her by yelling and grabbing her arms and slapping her in the face,” according to the DA’s office.
Gerardi, who goes by the street name “Prince,” also had sex with the girl and she performed oral sex on him on several occasions.
During that time period Gerardi forced the girl to have sex with other men for money, between March 2011 and September 2011, he also met a 16-year-old girl on the street and made her “work as a prostitute for him through threats of physical violence.”
The girls escaped when Gerardi was arrested on a parole violation in September 2011, but he later went after the 13-year-old, asking her to work for him again. When she refused, he sent two female friends to physically threaten her, prosecutors said, and they repeatedly punched and slapped her. The victim then reported Gerardi to authorities.