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In October of 2018, while staying at the JFK Inn, the defendant allegedly punched the victim in the face and threatened to kill her if she did not continue prostituting herself.
By Forum Staff
A multi-count indictment has charged three men for sex trafficking and other crimes for after forcing two young women—one just 17-years-old—into trading sex with strangers for cash, Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan recently announced.
The victims were forced into prostitution in May of 2018.
The three men were identified as Steven “Trigga” Picard, 37, of Canarsie, Jean “Hot Sauce” Jean-Bart, 35, of Cambria Heights, and Rashidi “Breezy” Burrowes, 26, of Far Rockaway.
Picard was arraigned last week, and defendants Jean-Bart and Burrowes were arraigned in early June before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Peter Vallone Jr., on a 16-count indictment charging them with sex trafficking, second-, third- and fourth-degree promoting prostitution, third-degree assault and sex trafficking of a child.
Justice Vallone Jr. remanded Picard and set bail for Jean-Bart and Burrowes at $750,000 bond or $500,000 cash each. Justice Vallone Jr. ordered the defendants to return to court on July 22, 2019. If convicted, the defendants face up to 25 years in prison.
According to the charges, the victim met defendant Picard through a mutual friend in May of 2018. Shortly thereafter, Picard allegedly forced the then-26-year-old woman – along with a 17-year-old girl – to engage in prostitution. Picard posted pictures and advertisements of the victims online and allegedly set their price for sex. Picard then told the woman that she would be paid a percentage of the proceeds. Instead, Picard pocketed all of the earnings and transported the victims to hotels in Queens and in neighboring states to prostitute themselves.
According to the charges, when the 26-year-old informed Picard that she no longer wanted to work for him, the defendant became enraged and allegedly repeatedly struck her multiple times. In October of 2018, while staying at the JFK Inn, the defendant allegedly punched the victim in the face and threatened to kill her if she did not continue prostituting herself. Picard even supplied the woman with alcohol and drugs and allegedly stole her identification to force her compliance.
In February, while working for Picard, the victim arranged a sex date with defendant Burrowes. Shortly after, the victim stopped working for Picard and began working for Burrowes, who also beat and allegedly stole the money made from prostitution. Burrowes, with the help of defendant Jean-Bart—who served as a driver—transported the woman to numerous prostitution dates at hotels in Queens.
The woman later escaped from Burrowes in March, a month after she began working for him.
“Prostitution is not a victimless crime,” Ryan said. “The victims in this case were physically coerced to engage in illicit sex acts for money. The defendants allegedly robbed and held the young women against their will. Sex work of any kind is illegal and individuals who profit from this industry will be held fully accountable for their actions.”