Two Central Islip men who Suffolk police said planned to push a 12-year-old girl into prostitution have been charged with sex trafficking and other crimes.
“This is the first time we have dealt with a victim so young,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said Thursday at a news conference in Yaphank.
Terron Newsome, 22, an alleged associate of the Crips, was charged with second-degree kidnapping, second-degree rape, endangering the welfare of a child and sex trafficking, police said.
Hart said Newsome had pushed a 17-year-old-girl into prostitution when she was 13 and had raped the teen numerous times over that four-year span. According to the complaint, Newsome admitted to police that he had sex with the 17-year-old in the past.
Fredjy Exavier, 22, an alleged associate of the Bloods, was charged with second-degree kidnapping and sex trafficking, police said.
At their arraignments Thursday in First District Court in Central Islip, Newsome was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail or $1 million bond and Exavier was ordered held on $250,000 cash bail or $500,000 bond. Both are due back in court Monday.
Newsome’s Melville attorney, Michael Elbert, said his client vehemently denies the charges. Elbert declined to comment further. Exavier's attorney could not be reached.
Last year, Newsome took part in programs run by the Council for Unity, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit that helps gang members get their lives together and works in schools to sway children against gangs, said the organization's founder, Robert De Sena.
In a May 2017 news interview posted on the nonprofit’s website, Newsome said he’d been shot several times and warned the young to stay away from gangs.
De Sena said children in the nonprofit’s school outreach program were required to watch Newsome’s interview and saw him as a “credible messenger” on the danger of gangs.
Now, De Sena said he’s “heartbroken” that Newsome did not call him for help.
Hart said the 12-year-old and the older girl left the Suffolk County group home where they lived Wednesday night and called Exavier. Exavier and Newsome picked the girls up and drove them to a motel near MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, police said.
Once in a motel room, Newsome attempted to persuade the 12-year-old to engage in sex with him and encouraged her to become a prostitute, Hart said.
“The 12-year-old, recognizing what was happening, went into the bathroom and called a previous foster mother and told her she was being held against her will,” Hart said. “The foster mother then called 911.”
The group attempted to leave after Newsome and Exavier realized the girl had called for help, but they were intercepted at the motel by Fifth Precinct officers, Hart said.
The officers quickly realized they were dealing with a human trafficking situation and contacted the department’s human trafficking unit, established in May 2017.
“This case exemplifies why this unit was created,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said at the news conference.
Hart and Bellone said the girls will receive support and will be treated as victims, not criminals.
“This is not a victimless crime,” Bellone added. “Human traffickers prey on the most vulnerable in our community to advance their criminal enterprise.”