Two men, accused of forcing three teenagers to work as prostitutes, were indicted by a grand jury on sex trafficking, kidnapping, rape and other charges this week.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said the men, Peter Gerardi, 28, of Forest Hills and Christopher Stephenbush, 30, of Richmond Hill, face 100 charges between that could send them to prison for 25 years to life.
In Gerardi’s case, he allegedly met the 13-year-old victim on the street in March 2011 before he asked her to perform sex acts with other men in exchange for money. He allegedly gave her rules to follow, instructions on what to charge the men and to lie about her age. According to the criminal complaint, she allegedly reluctantly agreed to prostitute herself for him, but when she wanted to stop, Gerardi allegedly threatened her verbally. He is further accused of assaulting and raping her when she attempted to leave.
The criminal complaint also alleges that Gerardi sent two female friends after the victim when she did successfully leave in September of this year.
The indictment also charges that Gerardi lured a 16-year-old girl he met on the street to work as a prostitute for him under the threat of physical violence. He also allegedly raped her. He is facing trial on 64 charges including 11 counts of first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping and sex trafficking.
Stephenbush is accused of luring a 15-year-old victim into his apartment while she was commuting to school in June of this year and would not let her leave until she agreed to work for him as a prostitute. He also allegedly raped her during a two-day period before letting her go.
Later, she allegedly was forced to work as a prostitute for him two more times, and Stephenbush allegedly assaulted her after one of those incidents when she tried to leave.
Stephenbush, who is being held in jail on $500,000 bail, is facing trial on 34 charges, including one count each of first-degree kidnapping and rape. He is next scheduled to appear in court Feb. 4.