Richard Trantham, a 34-year-old Jamaica man, is facing a 16-count indictment for pimping a 16-year-old girl for three months in 2017, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Trantham was charged with compelling prostitution, sex trafficking, promoting prostitution, rape and endangering the welfare of a child, according to Brown’s office.
The district attorney said Trantham forced the teen to have sex with him on multiple occasions, then with various men for money, which he then pocketed for himself.
“The defendant is accused of profiting from prostitution by forcing a teenage girl into having sex dates with men for money,” Brown said.
Acting Justice Barry Kron of the Queens County Supreme Court ordered Trantham to be held on $250,000 bail pending the outcome of a bail sufficiency hearing and to return to court on March 6.
An investigation found that the 16-year-old met Trantham through Facebook in September, when he invited her to model tattoos for him, authorities said.
The girl accepted the invitation, and he took her to his home, where he sexually assaulted the teen on multiple occasions from September to November, the district attorney said.
Trantham threatened the victim with physical injury to also engage in prostitution acts with other men, according to Brown.
“I once again want to stress that prostitution is not a victimless crime and that sex trafficking is an incessant act of brutality and degradation,” the district attorney said.
Inspector James Klein of the NYPD supervised the investigation, which was conducted by Detective Elizabeth Gonzalez of the department’s Major Case Vice Enforcement Division’s Human Trafficking Team.
Assistant Distrct Attorney Jessica Melton of the distrct attorney’s Human Trafficking Unit will prosecute the case, aided by Kate Hall and supervised by Executive Assistant District Attorney Peter Crusco.
Trantham faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
“This teenage girl was finally freed, but she will have to live with this horrible experience for the rest of her life,” Brown said.
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by email at nrose