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Jamaica man forced teen to prostitute herself: DA

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A Jamaica man was arraigned last week for allegedly making a 16-year-old sell herself on Queens Plaza just days after two men were charged with forcing a 12-year-old to prostitute herself along the same stretch of roadway, the Queens district attorney said.

Gavin Clarke, 23, of 164-01 Foch Blvd. in Jamaica, was charged June 20 with promoting prostitution, assault, statutory rape and endangering the welfare of a minor, DA Richard Brown said. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

The girl, who turns 17 in September, was found by her mother and a friend early the morning of June 19 waving to cars and talking with their occupants.

She had run away from home and was tracked down by her mother after a friend said she had seen her in the Queens Plaza area.

The victim''s mother spoke with nearby officers from the 108th Precinct when she discovered her daughter in Queens Plaza. Clarke, who was standing at a nearby street corner, fled the scene when he saw the police officers step out of their vehicle, the DA said.

Police Officer Vincent Inzirillo captured Clarke after a chase, and he was arrested shortly thereafter by Officer Kenneth Mantone.

Clarke was arraigned June 20 in Queens Criminal Court, where he was held on $75,000 bail, Brown said.

Two weeks earlier, James Pope, 18, of Manhattan and Tito Guzman, 22, of Brooklyn were arrested for allegedly forcing a 12-year-old girl to sell herself in the same area of Queens.

Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 7:08 pm, October 10, 2011
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