FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Brooklyn Man Sentenced to Seven Years in State Prison
For Sex Trafficking Two Teenagers in East New York
Defendant Lured 14-Year-Old and 15-Year-Old to His House Under False Pretenses
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 25-year-old man who pleaded guilty to sex trafficking and promoting prostitution has been sentenced to seven years in prison and five years’ post-release supervision.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant preyed on innocent and naïve young girls, luring them to his house with false promises. Human trafficking is one of the most degrading crimes in which victims are treated like property, and it will not be tolerated in Brooklyn.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Blake Cherry, 25, of East New York, Brooklyn. The defendant was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun to seven years in prison and five years’ post-release supervision. He will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release. He pleaded guilty to sex trafficking and second-degree promoting prostitution before Justice Chun on March 7, 2018. A co-defendant, Quayshaun Canady, pleaded guilty to second-degree promoting prostitution on November 29, 2017 and was sentenced to an indeterminate term of two to six years in prison on December 20, 2017. He also must register as a sex offender upon release.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, in April 2016, the defendant recruited a 14-year-old girl he met on Facebook to come to Brooklyn from Connecticut to be a model, claiming he was a photographer and that she could make good money. The victim ran away from home and boarded a Greyhound bus to the Port Authority, where she met Cherry, who took her to his East New York home.
The victim was forced to sleep on a couch in Cherry’s bedroom, where he slept with his girlfriend. The victim saw Cherry beat his girlfriend, putting the victim in fear of Cherry. She learned that Cherry was not a photographer and she would not be a model. She was then forced to have sex for money with men who answered an advertisement that Cherry placed on Backpage.com.
A few days later, the victim was introduced to Quayshaun Canady, who took her to a hotel and told her she would now work as a prostitute for him. She was forced to engage in sex for money with men over several days until she got sick and Canady then brought her back to Cherry’s house. She later escaped to a shelter and was reunited with her family.
In October 2016, a 15-year-old girl was lured to Cherry’s house under the guise of going shopping. She hung out at the house with Cherry and several other people and was plied with alcohol. Cherry then took pictures of her and posted them on the Backpage.com offering escort services. The victim told Cherry she was afraid and did not want to work as a prostitute. He then took her to his basement and forced her to have sex with him.
He subsequently drove her around Brooklyn and Queens and forced her to have sex with men for money. In an effort to escape, the victim took a screen shot of Cherry’s license plate and sent it to a family member who notified the police. The NYPD tracked the vehicle to Queens and the victim was rescued moments before Cherry intended to drive her to meet with a man who was to pay to have sex with her.
The case was investigated by New York City Police Department Detective Scott Velazquez and Detective James Rufle, of the Vice Major Case Team, under the supervision of Sergeant Gregory Graves, Lieutenant Christopher Sharpe and Captain Thomas Milano, and the overall supervision of Inspector James Klein.
The District Attorney thanked Detective Suzanne Laiuppa of the Bloomfield, Connecticut Police Department for her assistance in the investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney David Weiss, of the District Attorney’s Human Trafficking Unit, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Laura Edidin, Unit Chief, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Miss Gregory, Chief of the Special Victims Bureau.