CROWN HEIGHTS — Two Brooklynites are in jail this week after investigators found they had kidnapped two 16-year-old girls and sold them for sex out of a Crown Heights apartment using the website Backpage.
Taymel Harris, 20, and Denina Roman, 21, were arrested Saturday after one of their victims told police she had been held in a Lincoln Place apartment since June 21 and forced to have sex with at least 18 men, according to court documents.
The girl escaped the apartment and reported the kidnapping to police, according to a first report by the New York Daily News.
Upon arresting Harris and Roman, a second victim told investigators she had been held since May 15 and been forced to have sex with three men. Roman had taken pictures of both girls in underwear and posted them on Backpage, a website used to advertise sexual services.
The first victim told police that Roman took her to the apartment and told her that she’d be working as a prostitute and that if she tried to leave, Roman would beat her. Each time men came to have sex with one of the girls, they would leave cash in the room, which either Roman or Harris pocketed, court documents say.
Harris and Roman have been charged with promoting prostitution and endangering the welfare of a child, court records show; additionally, Roman is charged with kidnapping, sexual abuse and forcible touching. They are both being held on $50,000 bail and are due back in court on July 21. Their attorneys could not be reached for comment.