QUEENS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SEX TRAFFICKING FOR FORCING 16-YEAR-OLD GIRL INTO PROSTITUTION
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that a 22-year-old Queens resident has pleaded guilty to sex trafficking for forcing a then-16-year-old girl into prostitution. In May and June of 2018, the defendant coerced the victim into having sex with strangers for money.
District Attorney Katz said, “The defendant, whose street name is Gun Play, used intimidation and manipulation to force this youngster into repeatedly having sex with various men for money. And then he lined his own pockets with the cash she made from the various Johns who paid for sex. Trafficking girls for sex is illegal and will not be tolerated in Queens County.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Tyquan “Gun Play” Henderson, 22, of 156th Street in Queens. Henderson yesterday pleaded guilty to one-count of sex trafficking before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Peter Vallone Jr. Sentencing is scheduled for March 31, 2020, at which time the defendant faces 3 to 9 years in prison.
District Attorney Katz said that, according to the charges, the victim met the defendant through a mutual friend when she was just 15 years old. Approximately a month later, after the teen had turned 16, she encountered the defendant again and Henderson began arranging prostitution meet ups for her. The girl was told to refer to the defendant as “Daddy” and coerced her into engaging in sexual intercourse and oral sex with men in exchange for cash. Additionally, Henderson verbally threatened her with harm if she didn’t make enough money for him. She was told she needed to make at least $500 every night.
The victim escaped from the defendant, according to court records, when she visited a friend’s home and her friend’s mother called the police.
The investigation was conducted by Detective James Ruffle, formerly of the New York City Police Department’s Vice Enforcement Division’s Human Trafficking Team, under the supervision of Sergeant Faoud Zahirudin, Lieutenant Christopher Sharpe, and Captain Thomas Milano, and under the overall supervision of Inspector James P. Klein.
Assistant District Attorneys Kathryn Schultz and Jessica L. Melton, Chief of the District Attorney’s Human Trafficking Unit and Deputy Bureau Chief of the Special Proceedings Bureau prosecuted the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Anthony M. Communiello, Bureau Chief, Nicoletta Caferri, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for the Supreme Court Trial Division Pishoy Yacoub.
**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.