Brooklyn’s top prosecutor has indicted an East Flatbush man for allegedly forcing a minor into prostitution.
District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced the charges on May 22 against 34-year-old Jermaine Taylor, who is accused of assaulting the 16-year-old victim and threatening to kill her if she refused to have sex for money.
Prosecutors also allege that Taylor violently assaulted a pregnant woman who attempted to free the minor.
“This defendant allegedly treated a young girl as a piece of property, assaulting her and forcing her to work in the sex trade,” Gonzalez said. “We will now seek to hold him accountable for his alleged actions.”
The 12-count indictment against Taylor includes charges of sex trafficking of a minor, third-degree rape, and endangering the welfare of a child.
Taylor faces 32 years in prison if convicted of the top charges.
According to the investigation, Taylor forced the teenager to work as a prostitute multiple times for a ten-month span between May 2018 and March 2019 in various locations around Brooklyn in Queens. During that time, Taylor also promoted multiple other girls for prostitution, according to authorities.
On August 6, 2018, a pregnant acquaintance of both the minor and Taylor attempted to free the victim, while the three people were traveling together in a motor vehicle, according to investigators. Taylor then allegedly pushed the 28-year-old pregnant woman out of the car, before striking the would-be rescuer with the vehicle, and feeling with the minor.
Police, acting on information obtained by the district attorney’s office, rescued the teenage victim on March 6, according to authorities.
Taylor is the first Brooklyn defendant charged under the new Sex Trafficking of a Child statute, which was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in November 2018. The new law was designed to spare minors from court testimony by reducing the burden of prosecutors to prove that force, fraud, or coercion was used against underage victims of sex trafficking.
Taylor was arraigned before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun, and was ordered to be held on bail of $500,000 bond or $250,000 cash. He is scheduled to return to court on Aug. 7.