Defendant and Accomplices Lured Sixth-Grader With Fake Babysitting Job
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of ANTHONY CHARLES, 24, to a minimum of 12 years in state prison for trafficking a 13-year-old girl over the course of eleven months beginning in June 2015. On December 13, 2018, CHARLES was convicted by a New York State Supreme Court jury of all of the counts against him, including Sex Trafficking and Promoting Prostitution in the Second Degree. Codefendant WILLIAM MCNEIL, 24, pleaded guilty on April 5, 2018, to one count of Sex Trafficking and was later sentenced to 5 years in prison with 5 years of post-release supervision.
“The horrific violence and coercion committed against this 13-year-old child was not enough to break her spirit,” said District Attorney Vance. “After months of counseling, as well as support from my Office’s Human Trafficking Response Unit, she took the stand to testify in an act of extreme courage, bravely articulating the months of torture she endured at the hands of these heartless traffickers. The story of this profoundly courageous survivor shows us that in the safest big city in America, child sex trafficking still persists. It also demonstrates the unwavering commitment of our prosecutors and NYPD partners to shutting this market down.”
As proven at trial, in June 2015, CHARLES, MCNEIL, and an unapprehended accomplice lured a sixth-grade, 13-year-old girl from her Manhattan home to MCNEIL’s Brooklyn apartment by posing as a young woman on Facebook with the promise of a babysitting job. Instead, when she arrived in Brooklyn, the defendants threatened her at gunpoint, sexually assaulted her, and began trafficking her. Over three separate time periods – interrupted by hospitalizations and contact with the police – the defendants forced the 13-year-old to perform sexual acts, including in cars in Brooklyn and hotel rooms in Manhattan. They used compliments and promises of love in addition to physical assault, threats, and coercion, to manipulate her into returning to them for prostitution. After a joint investigation by the NYPD’s Vice Major Case Human Trafficking Team and the D.A.’s Human Trafficking Response Unit, and with the victim’s cooperation, two of the three men were identified and arrested.
Assistant D.A. Jennifer Dolle, Deputy Chief of the Human Trafficking Response Unit, Assistant D.A. Sarah Briglia, and Assistant D.A. Caitlin Nolan handled the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant D.A. Carolina Holderness, Chief of the Human Trafficking Response Unit; Assistant D.A. Martha Bashford, Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit; Executive Assistant D.A. Audrey Moore, Chief of the Special Victims Bureau; and Executive Assistant D.A. John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Investigative Analyst Elizabeth MacNeil and Investigators Ariela DaSilva and Sean Ryan assisted with the case.
District Attorney Vance thanked members of the NYPD’s Human Trafficking Team, including Detective Gloria Reyes.
ANTHONY CHARLES, D.O.B. 8/9/1994
- Sex Trafficking, a class B felony, 3 counts
- Promoting Prostitution in the First Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
- Promoting Prostitution in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 2 counts
Sentenced (to run concurrently):
- 5-to-15 years in state prison
- 12 years in state prison
WILLIAM MCNEIL, D.O.B. 7/29/1994
- Sex Trafficking, a class B felony, 1 count
- 5 years in state prison
- 5 years’ post-release supervision