A 16-year-old girl, reportedly a third sex worker for the man, was suspected of acting as his accomplice and was charged as an adult with kidnapping and promoting prostitution, a law enforcement official said. In a similar but separate case, a 25-year-old man was sentenced to up to six years in prison Friday for making two young teenage girls perform sex acts with strangers on two Jamaica streets, DA Richard Brown said. The 30-year-old, Barrington Heffenden of 114-22 158th St., appeared in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens on charges of kidnapping, forced sodomy, promoting prostitution and rape, Brown said. He was ordered to return to court Jan. 28 and could later face up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the alleged crimes against the two girls, ages 13 and 15."According to the charges, the defendant degraded and enslaved young women by recruiting them into his prostitution operation," Brown said. "He is accused of violating and exploiting them by repeatedly sexually attacking them and beating them."The 16-year-old, Angela Perez, lived with Heffenden, the law enforcement official said. She was arraigned Friday and also must return to State Supreme Court Jan. 28, where she could later face up to 25 years in prison if found guilty of the charges, the official said.Both of the younger girls were runaways, the 15-year-old from Suffolk County and the 13-year-old from the Bronx, the DA said. The 15-year-old left home Jan. 5 and sought refuge at Heffenden's house because she was friendly with Perez, the law enforcement official said. It could not be determined how the 13-year-old arrived at Heffenden's homeHeffenden was not charged for his alleged relationship with Perez in the ongoing investigation. Heffenden's lawyer, Michael Paul, could not be reached for comment.DA Brown, however, said Heffenden allegedly forced the two girls to have sex with "scores" of male customers, making them solicit business near South Road and Sutphin Boulevard in Jamaica, then perform their acts on the street or in nearby residences or motels. He said Heffenden made the teens work up to seven nights each week, with up to seven customers a night. They did so without condoms, the law enforcement official said.Heffenden allegedly made the 13-year-old charge $50 for oral sex and $100 for intercourse, the DA said. He also had sex with her himself multiple times, both at his home and at his mother's house on Linden Boulevard, Brown said. He also stands accused of assaulting the girl, once slapping her across the face and another time ripping her shirt off because she spoke to another man, the DA said.When the 15-year-old arrived, Heffenden allegedly raped her, then forced her to work the street, Brown said. The girl eventually escaped to Brooklyn and notified the authorities. Officers with a search warrant found the 13-year-old at Heffenden's home last Thursday and arrested him, the DA said. The 15-year-old was sent home and a hearing was scheduled for the 13-year-old to put her in foster care, the law enforcement official said.In the second case, Woodolph Romeo, 25, of Elmont, L.I., was sentenced Friday in Queens Supreme Court to two to six years in prison, Brown said. He previously pleaded guilty to forcing two young runaways, a 14-year-old from Nassau County and a 13-year-old, to work for him as prostitutes. "The case proves that prostitution is not a victimless crime but rather a despicable offense against society committed by predators who enslave young women a day at a time," the DA said.Romeo made the two girls work along Rockaway Boulevard and North Conduit Avenue, a stretch known as "The Track," and required them to charge $40 to $50 for oral sex and $80 to $100 for intercourse. The teens solicited business three or four times a week, with up to 15 customers a night.The 14-year-old performed oral sex on Romeo on several occasions, Brown said, and the 13-year-old also had intercourse with him. When she was not on the street, he kept the 13-year-old locked up in a house on nearby Guy R. Brewer Boulevard, from which she was afraid to leave, the DA said. Romeo also required the 14-year-old to earn $500 a night and sometimes beat her when she did not, Brown said.Reach reporter Michael Morton by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2005 Community News Group
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