A Jamaica couple were arrested Saturday and charged with kidnapping a 15-year-old girl who had run away from her Putnam County home and forcing her to work as a prostitute in Elmhurst and Miami, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Christine Waltzer, 24, and Michael Mello Streat, 27, both of 108-47 164th St. in Jamaica, were accused of luring the girl, who was not identified, into the sex trade and putting her to work on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst and Collins Avenue in Miami so they could keep the profits, the DA said.
According to the charges, the defendants lured the victim a young and vulnerable girl into their prostitution operation, Brown said in a statement.
They are accused of violating, degrading and exploiting her by forcing her to perform various sexual acts with scores of male customers, retaining the proceeds for themselves, the DA said. Prostitution is not a victimless crime but a despicable offense against society practiced by callous jackals who enslave young women without hope and victimize them a day at a time.
Waltzer and Streat allegedly forced the 15-year-old, who had run away from her house in Putnam County, N.Y., to work as a prostitute between January and March 2004 on Queens Boulevard between 69th Street and 51st Avenue in Elmhurst and in Miami, Brown said.
The couple allegedly demanded that the girl turn three tricks a night and told her to charge $60 for oral sex and $100 for intercourse, the DA said.
The girl gave all her earnings to Waltzer and Streat and was told to call and report the number of sex acts she performed and the money she earned, Brown said.
Waltzer also allegedly took the girl to Miami, using a fake identification to get her past security at Kennedy Airport. The girl was arrested on charges of prostitution Jan. 19, and the couple brought her back to Queens after she was released, Brown said.
Waltzer and Streat were arrested Saturday near their Jamaica home. Detectives recovered nearly $2,000 in cash from Streat, Brown said.
The pair were arraigned Sunday in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens before Judge Alex Zigman, who set bail at $100,000 for each of them. They were charged with kidnapping, promoting prostitution, endangering the welfare of a child and conspiracy, Brown said. The pair face 25 years in prison if convicted. Waltzer and Streat were due back in court April 14.
Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at news@times
©2004 Community News Group
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