A police detective forced a 13-year-old runaway to work as a prostitute at parties around the city, telling her that if she attempted to escape he would make her sell herself on the streets, prosecutors said Wednesday.
The detective, 35-year-old Wayne Taylor, and a woman accused of working as his partner were arrested on charges of kidnapping, promoting prostitution, assault and endangering the welfare of a child, the Queens district attorney's office said.
Taylor, a 14-year veteran assigned to the New York Police Department's housing bureau, was suspended without pay, the NYPD said. Both he and the woman, 29-year-old Zelika Brown, pleaded not guilty at their arraignment Wednesday. Taylor's lawyer Peter Brill and Randall Unger, an attorney for Brown, did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Told she’d been ‘purchased’
According to prosecutors, the teenager ran away from her Brooklyn home on Jan. 10 and met someone who offered to get her a job dancing for money at parties. That person then introduced her to Brown, who told the girl she had "purchased" her for $500 and she had to work off the debt, prosecutors said.
Taylor instructed the girl to tell people she was 19 years old and that she charged between $40 and $80 for sexual acts, prosecutors said.
Taylor and Brown took the girl to parties throughout the city where she was told to have sex with about 20 men in exchange for money given to the pair, prosecutors said.
While holding the girl against her will, Brown chastised her for not earning enough money and slammed her head into the floor, prosecutors said.
Taylor told the victim that if she failed to earn more money or tried to leave the home, he would force her to work as a prostitute on the streets, prosecutors said. He told the girl an alarm on the house would alert him if she tried to leave, they said. The girl escaped to her family, who took her to a police precinct, police said.
"This case is every parent and every child's worst nightmare, made even more frightening by the fact that one of the defendants is a police officer who swore to uphold the law and the community he serves," District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a statement.
Taylor and Zelika Brown each face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
A third person also was arrested on charges of promoting prostitution, assault and endangering the welfare of a child, prosecutors said. The 17-year-old is accused of slapping the 13-year-old at Brown's direction for talking too much to customers and punching her, giving the girl a black eye, prosecutors said.
The 17-year-old was told to oversee the 13-year-old girl at parties, said prosecutors, who said they did not immediately have information on whether the older girl had a lawyer.