A Providence, R.I., man is expected to return to Queens Criminal Court next week on charges of taking a woman from his hometown to Queens and forcing her into prostitution to make money for him, the Queens district attorney’s office said.
Paul Monteiro, 26, allegedly approached a Providence woman July 21 and asked her to accompany him to New York, telling her that he would show her around the city, the DA said. After several days in New York, the woman asked to go back to Rhode Island, but Monteiro allegedly said the woman would have to make money for him if she wanted to go home, the DA said.
Monteiro allegedly told the woman, “I own you. If you make a couple of dollars, you can go home,” according to the DA.
Then Monteiro allegedly gave the woman a cell phone and told the woman to take pictures of herself with it, the DA said. The pictures went up on a classified advertising website called backpage.com, and the woman would allegedly receive text messages informing her where to meet men who responded to the advertisement for sex, the DA said. For an undisclosed number of days, the woman allegedly met multiple men at various locations around Queens for sex and gave all the money she made to Monteiro, the DA said.
Some locations where these transactions allegedly occurred included a residence in Maspeth, the Clarion Hotel at 94-00 Ditmars Blvd. near LaGuardia Airport and the Queens Motor Inn, at 64-11 Queens Blvd. in Woodside, according to Monteiro’s criminal complaint.
Officers from the 109th Precinct arrested Monteiro July 30 outside of a Florist shop on Roosevelt Avenue near 61st Street, the criminal complaint said. An officer allegedly found marijuana from the back seat of his vehicle while he was being arrested, the DA said.
Monteiro was arraigned Aug. 1 on charges of sex trafficking, promoting prostitution, unlawful imprisonment and unlawful possession of marijuana, the DA said. He has been ordered held on $250,000 bail and faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted, the DA said.
“Sex trafficking is a violent and degrading crime that will not be tolerated,” District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement. “This case will be vigorously prosecuted.”
New York state legislation making sex trafficking a felony went into effect in November 2007, the DA said. The law requires those found guilty of sex trafficking to register as sex offenders and provides social services to victims like temporary housing and treatment for health, mental health and drug addiction, the DA said.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cn
©2011 Community News Group
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