A 75-year-old resident of a New Jersey senior citizen housing complex is suspected of running a prostitution ring that employed some elderly residents as sex workers, NBC 4 New York has learned.
The suspect, James Parham, 75, was also accused, along with Cheryl Chaney, 66, of allowing residents and visitors to use crack in their apartments, police said.
Both are charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a nuisance, and Chaney is also charged with possession of crack cocaine.
In Parham's case, the nuisance charge relates to allowing prostitution in his apartment and in Chaney's case, it relates to allowing drug use in hers.
Englewood Police Chief Arthur O'Keefe told NBC 4 New York on Tuesday that Parham ran the prostitution ring through his apartments, and employed a mix of young women and older residents.
None of the alleged prostitutes were arrested.
O'Keefe says there was also sex and drug use going on in common areas of the complex, and that some seniors were afraid to venture into certain areas because they were afraid for their lives.
Richard Allaway, a resident, says he and others were aware of "a lot of nonsense going on."
A lack of security in the building is believed to have contributed to the problem.
Kevin Thomas, who has loved ones living in the complex, said he couldn't understand why older people were turning to crime.
"Why they wait so late in life to start doing stuff they should have did years ago, or shouldn't have touched period, why do you wait this late?" he said.
Information about attorneys for the suspects was not immediately available.