A Queens grand jury last week indicted two Brooklyn men on multiple counts of sex trafficking, promoting prostitution, and other charges for allegedly forcing two girls to have sex with men for money in the borough and elsewhere over a three-month period beginning this past January, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Kadeem Moore, 18, and Francois Cousins, 22, were arraigned last Friday afternoon on an 18-count indictment charging them both with four counts of sex trafficking, two counts of second-degree promoting prostitution, two counts of third-degree promoting prostitution, two counts of first-degree unlawful imprisonment, and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. Moore, Brown noted, is additionally charged with two counts of sex trafficking and one count each of second-degree promoting prostitution, third-degree promoting prostitution, first-degree unlawful imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a child, and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.
Bail was set at $500,000 for Moore and $600,000 for Cousins; bail sufficiency hearings were ordered for both men.
According to the charges, a 16-year-old female victim met a 23-year-old female on Facebook in January 2015 and they agreed to meet at a Long Island City hotel. At the hotel, the older female allegedly introduced the 16-year-old to Moore, who was her pimp. Thereafter, Brown said, Moore and Cousins allegedly forced both girls—through intimidation and physical violence—to have sex dates with various men in Queens and other places for money between January and March.
Additionally, on one date at a hotel in February, the older girl called 911, stating that she and a missing underage child were being held against their will and forced to prostitute. When police responded, they did not find the caller or the victim.
However, using the phone number of the 911 caller, the DA’s Human Trafficking Unit subpoenaed ads on the Backpage website and allegedly found numerous ads advertising the victim in prostitution ads. On March 10, the city Police Department conducted an undercover sting operation by calling the victim’s ad. The victim allegedly directed the undercover officer to a specific room at the Clarion Hotel in Jamaica where she agreed to have sex with the officer in exchange for $120. Both Moore and the older girl were allegedly observed in the vicinity of the hotel.
Moore and Cousins were scheduled to return to court on June 22. If convicted, each face up to 25 years in prison.