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Four southeast Queens residents have been indicted on sex trafficking charges after they allegedly forced three teenage girls into prostitution, according to District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Three of the four defendants were arraigned at Queens Supreme Court on sex trafficking, kidnapping, and other charges for allegedly forcing one or more women to have sex with strangers for cash.
A Queens County grand jury handed up two separate indictments charging a total of four individuals with allegedly running a brothel-style business out of the JFK Inn Hotel in Jamaica in June. Tyrone “Angel” Miles, 30, of 110th Avenue, and Bryant “Dollaz” Lowery, 22, of Springfield Gardens are charged in a 24-count indictment.
Miles was arraigned before acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Peter Vallone, Jr. and was remanded. Lowery was set to be arraigned Friday. If convicted, both men face up to life in prison.
Luvasia Rodriguez, 22, of 166th Pace in Jamaica, is also charged in the 24-count indictment and was arraigned on September 9. If convicted, she too faces up to life in prison.
Lowery and Rodriguez are also charged in an 11-count indictment with co-defendant Khalil “Lil” Fryer, 21, of Far Rockaway Boulevard. If convicted, all three face up to 25 years in prison.
According to the 24-count indictment, Miles and Lowery are both charged with the sex trafficking of a child statute. The victims in the case were 16 and 17 years old when the defendants allegedly held them against their will at the JFK Inn Hotel and threatened them with physical harm unless they prostituted themselves.
At one point, when the youngest victim refused to continue having sex with strangers, Miles allegedly told her, “I will kill you,” and ordered her to tell customers she was of legal age to consent to sex. Both Mies and Lowery have also been charged with allegedly raping her.
The defendants allegedly contacted customers to come to the JFK Inn, where the teenagers had sex with them in exchange for money, which the defendants kept.
Receipts from the hotel, obtained during the investigation, indicate that Miles and Lowery rented rooms between June 5 and June 12. Video surveillance of the area shows Miles and a third underage female walking into the location with the teenage girls on June 5.
Additional video surveillance shows Miles, Rodriguez, and Lowery walking, together and separately, with the 16-year-old victim to and from different rooms at the JFK Inn, according to the District Attorney. The 16-year-old was able to escape when Miles left briefly, at which point she fled to a commercial establishment and contacted her family.
According to the 11-count indictment, on June 19 Fryer, Rodriguez and Lowery abducted a 19-year-old woman and held her at the JFK Inn Hotel. While at the location, the defendants allegedly ordered the victim to have sex with men for money.
When she refused, Fryer allegedly told her that he would kill her if she did not comply. The defendants then set her up with a customer, and at that time the victim told the customer what was happening.
Although the client tried to help her escape, the defendants tracked the victim down, forced her into their vehicle, and then drove back to the hotel. On the way back, Fryer allegedly punched and kicked the woman and struck her in the head with a bottle, while repeatedly stating that he would kill her if she ever tried to escape again. The victim was forced to have sex with multiple customers, while Rodriguez collected all of the proceeds.
The victim finally managed to escape when, after being left alone with one of the customers, ran outside and flagged down a passing police vehicle. Fryer was apprehended outside of the location that morning, while Rodriguez and Lowery fled the scene and were arrested at a later date.
“These cases are grim examples of why I formed the Human Trafficking Bureau when I became DA,” Katz said. “When people are forced into prostitution with threats and physical violence, it is our obligation as a city to hold the traffickers accountable. Thankfully, these young victims were able to escape to safety, but not before being held captive and having to endure the torment and cruelty of those who profited from the acts they were forced to perform.”