Pimp gets 12 years in seedy prostitution scheme

Jonathon Harris
Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office

A judge sentenced an East New York pimp to 12 years in prison for luring teenage girls from out of state to work as prostitutes in seedy Kings County hotels.

Jonathan “Jayo” Harris, 27, prostituted at least nine young women with his accomplice Tariq Washington, who was previously sentenced to nine years in prison. Both defendants must register as sex offenders upon their release.

“This defendant took advantage of vulnerable young women, luring them to New York City to work as prostitutes and used violence to get them to do his bidding,” District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said, ”I am committed to holding accountable those who violate and prey on our young women.”

Harris and Tariq used backpage.com — a website for posting classified ads that the Federal Bureau of Investigations seized in 2018 — in order to lure young women between the ages of 16 and 18 years old into Brooklyn from cities including Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Cleveland, purchasing their bus tickets and then posting images of the teens online, according to Gonzalez.

Once in Brooklyn, the defendants set the teenage girls up in motels throughout the borough, pimping them out for cash, feeding them drugs, and beating them, according to the district attorney.

One 18-year-old victim, who traveled from Philadelphia to meet Washington with a 17-year-old friend, suffered repeated assaults after her younger friend split town, before ultimately reporting both men to the authorities, Gonzalez said.

Harris pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree prostitution, one count of third-degree promoting prostitution, and one count of second-degree assault an March 20. Washington pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking.

Reach reporter Chandler Kidd at ckidd@schenpsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–2525. Follow her at twitter.com/ChanAnnKidd.

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