Four people were indicted in Brooklyn Monday, accused of forcing two girls into prostitution at clubs, parties and on the streets.
"The defendants in these cases are the lowest of the low, forcing children to have sex for money," Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said in a press release announcing the indictments in the two sex-trafficking cases. "My Sex Trafficking Unit and I will see them punished to the fullest extent of the law."
In one of the cases, a 12-year-old girl was introduced to Gary Whitfield, 29, by a 22-year-old woman, Melina Carmichael, in November 2010, said Hynes. Whitfield and Carmichael promised the girl easy money and luxurious gifts, and forced her to dance at clubs and bachelor parties.
The couple also forced the girl to pick up men on the street and perform sex for money over a period of 10 months, the indictment said.
Whitfield and Carmichael were charged with sex trafficking, second-degree promoting prostitution and endangering the welfare of a child.
In the other case, a 13-year-old runaway met 21-year-old Kendale "Ace" Judge in September 2011. Judge gained the girl's trust by promising to take care of her, but instead beat her and forced her into prostitution, advertising her services with photographs on a website, the indictment said.
The girl tried to escape at one point, but Judge located her, beating her and throwing her down a flight of stairs, according to the indictment. An accomplice, 19-year-old Shanique Davis, photographed the girl and helped keep her captive.
Judge and Davis were charged with sex trafficking, first-degree kidnapping, compelling prostitution, second-degree rape and endangering the welfare of a child.
The defendants each face up to 25 years in prison if they are convicted, said Hynes.
Hynes said his office created the sex trafficking unit a year and a half ago to address the growing problem of traffickers exploiting women, girls and boys.
"The victims of these crimes are typically very young, vulnerable, and therefore, easy targets for the heinous criminals that prey on them," said Hynes.
Hynes said the unit has indicted 31 defendants and secured six convictions so far.