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Rosedale teen recruited girl prostitute: DA

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A Rosedale teenager was charged last week with recruiting and training a 15-year-old girl to work as a prostitute in Queens Plaza South, Jamaica and the Rockaways, District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Clifford Augustin, 19, allegedly convinced the girl, who was not identified, to sell herself for sex over a 24-day span last year and told her to lie about her age and deny knowing him, Brown said.

“The defendant has been charged with knowingly promoting prostitution of a 15-year-old girl who was recruited into a life of degradation by performing sexual acts for pay for scores of male customers,” the district attorney said in a statement. “Prostitution is a crime against society practiced by individuals who prey upon vulnerable young women without hope and lure them into a life of degradation.”

Augustin approached the girl and her sister at a clothing store in the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, L.I. in August and allegedly told them they could make a lot of money through prostitution, Brown said. He later called the girl and explained the business of prostitution to her, including giving her tips on how to pick up men, the DA said.

The girl worked as a prostitute in the Queens Plaza South, Jamaica and Rockaway areas between Sept. 12 and Oct. 8. Augustin allegedly set her prices, telling her to charge $50 for oral sex, $80 for intercourse and $100 an hour to have sex in a hotel room, Brown said. The girl performed at least two or three tricks a night, earning a total of $4,800, the DA said.

She turned the money over to Augustin, Brown said.

Augustin was arrested in Queens Plaza Feb. 5 after a street fight, and initially charged him with weapons possession. Detectives allegedly found motel receipts, a motel key, condoms and $600 in cash on the defendant, Brown said.

Augustin, of 138-05 Caney Lane, was charged with promoting prostitution, endangering the welfare of a child and conspiracy, and he faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, Brown said. He was arraigned last Thursday in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens before Judge James Griffin, who set bail at $150,000. Augustin was due back in court March 31.

Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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