Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced today that a Queens County grand jury has indicted a 22-year-old Jamaica, Queens, man and a 26-year-old woman on charges of having a 14-year-old girl perform sexual acts for pay at a motel in Queens County.
Brown said, “The female defendant is alleged to have lured her young teenage friend into prostituting herself with the promise of making money. Unfortunately, for the victim, she discovered all too late that few activities are as brutal and dehumanizing as prostitution. Instead of making money, the victim was allegedly forced to turn over all the money she earned to the male defendant. Fortunately, state lawmakers have given prosecutors a new tool to bring those who victimize and exploit such vulnerable individuals to justice and put them behind bars for a long time.”
The District Attorney identified the defendants as 22-year-old Ismael Lachapelle, of 90-42 179th Street in the Jamaica section of Queens, and 26-year-old Jasmine Goodwin. Lachapelle was arraigned today before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Robert C. McGann on charges of first- and second-degree kidnapping, sex trafficking, second- and third-degree promoting prostitution, second-degree rape and endangering the welfare of a child.
Lachapelle, who was ordered held on $75,000 bail and to return to court on Nov. 30, faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
Goodwin, who is also known as Holly and J. Hollytsunami Goodwin, was arraigned yesterday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Fernando M. Camacho on charges of second- degree kidnapping, sex trafficking, second-degree promoting prostitution and endangering the welfare of a child. Goodwin, who was ordered held on $25,000 bail and to return to court on Nov. 15, faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
District Attorney Brown said that, according to the charges, the 14-year-old female victim ran away from home on May 23, and that the following day Goodwin, who was allegedly a friend, called and asked her if she wanted to make money with her. It is alleged that the victim was told to take a cab to the Kew Motor Inn, located at 139-01 Grand Central Parkway in the Kew Garden Hills section of Queens, where she was introduced to Lachapelle and an unapprehended male who was acting as Goodwin’s pimp.
Goodwin allegedly talked the victim into working as a prostitute for Lachapelle after assuring her that she would be safe.
It is further alleged that Lachapelle took erotic photographs of the girl and posted them on an escort website. Additionally, Lachapelle allegedly gave her a cell phone, told her not to leave the motor inn, that she would be working performing prosti- tution dates for him and instructed her on pricing. The victim allegedly received about five to six calls for prostitution dates between May 24 and 26. After each such date, Lachapelle allegedly would go to her hotel room and collect the money.
It is alleged that on one occasion, Lachapelle also had sexual intercourse with her.
On May 27, an undercover police officer viewed the victim’s advertisement on the escort website and called the number provided. He went to the Kew Motor Inn that after- noon and was allegedly met by the victim, who agreed to have sexual intercourse with the undercover for $100, which he paid her.
After she was placed under arrest, the victim admitted that she wanted to stop working for the defendant but was scared.
Lachapelle was arrested that same day when he returned to the room after the undercover’s “date.”
District Attorney Brown said that the state legislation strengthening penalties against human trafficking and provid- ing assistance to victims was enacted on June 6, 2007, and took effect on November 1, 2007. Among the legislation’s provisions was the creation of a new class B felony – “sex trafficking” – for perpetrators who profit from prostitution by engaging in sex trafficking; requiring those convicted of sex trafficking to reg- ister as sex offenders with the state; providing social service as- sistance to victims — such as temporary housing, health and mental health treatment and drug addiction treatment; and ensuring that sex trafficking victims were eligible for services from the Crime Victims Board.