“This defendant, who took advantage of two vulnerable young girls, trafficking them for money in exchange for sex, has now been brought to justice,” said District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. Photo: Brooklyn Eagle File
A Flatbush man was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Wednesday after he pled guilty to two counts of sex trafficking of a child and one count of weapon possession.
Hakeem Bennett, a 24-year-old, was sentenced by Justice Danny Chun to eight years for the sex trafficking charges plus another two years for the weapons possession charge. The years will run consecutively and after his release, Bennett will be subjected to five years of post-release supervision and must register as a sex offender.
“This defendant, who took advantage of two vulnerable young girls, trafficking them for money in exchange for sex, has now been brought to justice,” said District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “I am committed to rescuing and protecting our at-risk children and teens from predators who are intent on exploiting and abusing them.”
Bennett was arrested on Oct. 3, 2019 after an undercover police officer responded to an escort advertisement that was provided by the FBI following an earlier investigation, according to prosecutors. The ad featured pictures of two teenage girls, one 15 and one 17.
According to prosecutors, the undercover officer called the phone number in the ad and spoke to a woman who told the officer to meet her at an address on East 29th Street in Brooklyn. When the officer arrived at the address, they met with the 15-year-old victim, who brought him to the 17-year-old victim and another woman. The undercover officer agreed to pay $250 to have sex with both of the children.
Prosecutors said that further investigation revealed that Bennett had been selling both children for sex for several weeks, and pretended to be the girls when customers responded to the ad. The girls were told where to meet the men who hired them and how much to charge. Bennett accepted some payments via payment apps.