A Brooklyn man was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to sex trafficking of a child for forcing two 16-year-old girls to engage in prostitution.
Steven Bell, 36, of Flatbush, Brooklyn, will not only spend a decade in prison, but was also sentenced to five years’ post-release supervision, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced. Bell will have to register as a sex offender.
According to the district attorney, citing the investigation, a 16-year-old girl who was living in a residential facility outside of New York City left the facility on October 17, 2020 and made her way to Brooklyn to meet Bell who convinced her to engage in prostitution for him.
Bell, with the help of an apparent accomplice, took sexually provocative photos of the teen and posted them online, advertising sex in exchange for money, according to Gonzalez' office.
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In late October, the teen allegendy contacted another 16-year-old girl she knew. The second girl, left a facility to meet with the first teen and Bell in Brooklyn. Bell also took provocative photos of her and posted them online. He and his accomplice also took provocative photos of both teens together.
The teens were trafficked until December 2020 until the New York City Police Department received information regarding the possible crime involving the minors and an investigation kicked off.
“This defendant took advantage of two vulnerable children to make himself money," Gonzalez said in a statement. "Child exploitation for sex is a real and persistent problem and I remain committed to investigate, vigorously prosecute and hold accountable anyone who engages in this appalling and harmful conduct.”