QUEENS — Two Queens men have pleaded guilty to felony charges in connection with the sex trafficking of a 14-year-old runaway girl who they forced to work as a prostitute, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced Tuesday.
Lindsay Archibald, 33, of Woodside, pleaded guilty to sex trafficking and Stephen Garrison, 27, of Jamaica, pleaded guilty to promoting prostitution, and will be sentenced to three to nine years and three to six years in prison, respectively, prosecutors said.
“The defendants preyed on a vulnerable teenage girl, using her as a commodity to be sold to others for cash, which they then pocketed for themselves,” Brown said in a statement, adding that "sex trafficking is a serious and disturbing crime."
According to Brown, the 14-year-old victim ran away from home in September 2013 and was later introduced to Archibald, whose street name is "Touch," Garrison and their accomplice, Quanesha Hunte, 26, of Jamaica.
The trio threatened her and coerced her into prostitution inside of a home on 107th Avenue in Jamaica where they kept her against her will between Nov. 1, 2013, and Feb. 3, 2014, and where Archibald and Hunte forced her to have sex with numerous men in exchange for cash which she had to hand over to them, prosecutors said.
When she begged them to let her go, they would beat her up and threaten her, prosecutors said.
“If you ever try to leave, I’ll find you and kill you,” Archibald allegedly once told her.
Archibald also forced her to have sex with Garrison to “test her out,” the DA's office said.
On February 3, 2014, Archibald and Hunte moved the victim out of the 107th Avenue location to Hunte’s home, also in Jamaica, according to the DA's office.
On that day, when Archibald briefly left the house and Hunte was sleeping, the 14-year-old grabbed a phone and called her grandmother and 911.
When police officers arrived at Hunte’s home later that day, they also discovered a loaded Glock handgun.
Archibald is scheduled to be sentenced on March 14, and Garrison’s sentencing is set for March 21.
Garrison's lawyer Mark Pollard, said Tuesday that his "client chose the wrong company for himself."
"He was not a sex trafficker but unfortunately chose to assist in promoting prostitution," Pollard said.
Hunte, who already pleaded guilty to promoting prostitution on Feb. 4, has been held in jail in lieu of $300,000 bond/$150,000 cash bail since her arrest in February 2014.
Her lawyer, Linda Povman, declined to comment before the sentencing, which is pending.
Murray Singer, who represents Archibald, only said that his client opted to enter into a plea deal rather than go to trial. "Ultimately, it was a judgment that he made," Singer said.
Archibald was also charged in a second case with pimping out several other girls, including a 17-year-old, whom he also forced to tattoo his street name on the back of her neck.