BY TRONE DOWD
A Jamaica man was arraigned on Tuesday for allegedly prostituting a 16-year-old girl over a three-month period last year.
The perpetrator of the act, 34-year-old Richard Trantham, was indicted on 16 counts, including multiple charges of sex trafficking, endangering the welfare of a child, rape and various other crimes.
According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, Trantham met the 16-year-old on Facebook in September. Trantham convinced the girl to model tattoos for him. He then allegedly picked up the girl and brought her to his residence. Trantham then allegedly sexually assaulted the girl on multiple occasions. The assaults would continue until November. During a three-month stretch, Brown alleged that Trantham forced the girl to perform sexual acts on various individuals who paid him. Trantham allegedly ensured the girl’s cooperation by threatening her life.
“The defendant is accused of profiting from prostitution by forcing a teenage girl into having sex dates with men for money,” Brown said. “I once again want to stress that prostitution is not a victimless crime and that sex trafficking is an incessant act of brutality and degradation. This teenage girl was finally freed, but she will have to live with this horrible experience for the rest of her life.”
Trantham will return to Queens County Criminal Court on March 6. If convicted, he faces 25 years in prison. Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron is overseeing the case.