BROOKLYN, NEW YORK -- Prompted by a wide-ranging investigation into the cases of about 15 girls who said they were forced into prostitution, District Attorney Charles J. Hynes of Brooklyn said Wednesday that he was creating a Sex Trafficking Unit to take aim at those who sexually exploit women and girls.
Eight people have been indicted on charges that include sex trafficking or promoting prostitution as a result of the investigation.
About eight months ago, a Brooklyn teenager told an official at her school that she had been forced into prostitution. Building on her story, investigators uncovered more cases of girls who were raped, threatened with violence and forced to sell their bodies to meet daily quotas, an official said.
“There are perhaps few more despicable crimes than to force 15- and 16-year-old children into prostitution,” Mr. Hynes said.
The pimps sometimes started off as boyfriends or had acquaintances recruit friends and schoolmates from local high schools and middle schools, luring girls with promises of cash and “a generous lifestyle,” he added.
Instead, the men used threats and violence to force the women to meet quotas of $500 a day or more, meeting clients at sex parties or through the “adult services” categories of Craigslist and other Web sites...
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