4 indicted in child sex trafficking ring: Manhattan DA

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NEW YORK - Four people have been indicted on charges of trafficking a 14-year-old girl and forcing her into prostitution, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced Thursday.

The four defendants, Brianna Moreno, 20, Nickolous Charles, 21, Wilson-Mariano Ventura, 23 and Alejandrina Ventura, 24, are all accused of conspiring to traffic the victim between November 2023 and February 2024. All four have been charged with fourth-degree conspiracy and second-degree promoting prostitution.

Additionally, Moreno and Charles have been charged with promoting prostitution in the third degree.

"As alleged, these individuals targeted a 14-year-old who frequently ran away from home, abusing her and profiting off of her," said District Attorney Bragg. "The child’s age is exceedingly common in human trafficking cases and illustrates why my office is fighting to eliminate the statute of limitations for sex trafficking."

According to the indictment, the four defendants worked together to traffic the victim, who frequently ran away from home. The defendants would post prostitution ads on various escort websites, featuring nude or half-dressed photos of the victim.

Moreno and Charles would set up sexual encounters with the victim using various phone numbers, including their own, and paid the Venturas proceeds from that prostitution in the form of "rent" in order to stay in and work out of the Venturas' apartment in Harlem.

The DA's office did not list how many "clients" met the victim for sex, but the investigation is ongoing.