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DA hails new sex-crime laws

The Queens DA said Anthony Vargas brought a runaway teen to this Ruscoe street apartment and pimped her out as his prostitute.
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A Jamaica man was sentenced last week for exploiting a runaway girl out of his home while another person was charged with doing the same thing to another victim, the Queens district attorney said.

Anthony Vargas, 22, of 106-60 Ruscoe St., was sentenced Nov. 22 to four to 12 years in prison on sex trafficking charges, DA Richard Brown said. On that same day, Raymond Warren, 31, of Brooklyn, was arraigned on several charges, including sex trafficking, promoting prostitution and criminal contempt, for allegedly using a woman to be his prostitute for more than a year, according to the DA.

“These two cases make it clear that prostitution is not a victimless crime but a terrifying and despicable — and oftentimes violent — offense against the young women that it enslaves without hope and victimizes one day at a time,” he said in a statement.

Vargas pleaded guilty to his charges last month and admitted to befriending a runaway 13-year-old and having sex with her for 10 days starting on April 2, 2010, Brown said.

During that time period, he would bring the victim to several locations in Queens, where he would force her to have sex with other men in exchange for money that he would keep, according to Brown.

The unidentified teen was locked in the apartment anytime Vargas left, but detectives were able to find her and rescued her from the apartment, Brown said. Vargas went on the lam, but was found in Virginia seven months later and extradited back to Queens, according to the DA.

Brown noted that new laws have increased the penalties for sex trafficking and are aimed at cracking down on prostitution in the borough. He said he will be prosecuting Warren to the fullest for his alleged crimes.

A judge ordered the Brooklyn suspect to be remanded until his next court date Jan. 11, Brown said. Warren allegedly befriended his victim sometime in 2009 and she initially agreed to be his prostitute, according to the DA.

But when she later backed out from the arrangement, Warren allegedly told the victim, “No, you will stop when I tell you to stop. I’m your daddy,” according to the DA.

He then beat her for refusing to continue working as a prostitute, the DA said.

Between early 2010 and Oct. 21, 2011, he brought the victim to several men in Queens and she would have sex for money on almost a daily basis, Brown said. Warren allegedly brought her to Roosevelt Avenue, where she would walk up and down the street waiting for clients and he allegedly had her advertise her sex services on Craigslist, according to the DA.

Sometime in 2011, Warren stabbed the victim several times with a pen despite having a restraining order issued against him by a Manhattan judge after the victim accused Warren of beating her, Brown said.

He was arrested in October after he offered the victim and another woman to an undercover police officer, the DA said. While he was being arrested, Warren allegedly threatened to kill the victim, according to Brown.

If convicted on his charges, he faces up to 25 years in prison, the DA said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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