FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Man Indicted for Sex Trafficking of Teenage Girl
Defendant Allegedly Paid for Teen to Travel to New York
From Kansas City to Engage in Prostitution
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a man has been arraigned on an indictment in which he is charged with sex trafficking of a child and other charges for allegedly luring a 16-year-old girl from Kansas City, Missouri to come to New York and engage in prostitution.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant allegedly exploited a vulnerable teenager to engage in prostitution over several days before she called her mother seeking help. We are grateful for the police who brought her to safety, and deeply committed to seeking justice for this victim and all those impacted by this abhorrent crime.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Diamond Stewart, 28, of Los Angeles, California. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which he is charged with sex trafficking of a child, attempted sex trafficking of a child, second-, third- and fourth-degree promoting prostitution, third-degree rape, third-degree criminal sexual act, sexual misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child. The defendant was ordered held on bail of $250,000 cash or $1 million bond and to return to court on March 22, 2023. He faces up to 25 years in prison and would be required to register as a sex offender if convicted of the top count.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, the defendant messaged the 16-year-old victim, who was living in Kansas City, on Instagram, and they messaged back and forth for a period of time. The defendant then allegedly offered to pay for the defendant to fly to New York and told her she would be engaging in prostitution in exchange for money.
The victim arrived in New York City on December 22, 2022, and the defendant allegedly called an Uber for her that took her to the Thatford Hotel in Brownsville, according to the investigation. The victim then checked into a room that the defendant had allegedly paid for in advance of her arrival. The defendant then allegedly went to the hotel and met with the victim, telling her she would be walking the “track” in East New York and telling her what prices to charge for various sexual acts.
The defendant allegedly drove around the track and took the money the victim earned while engaging in prostitution on the track, in freezing temperatures, including 9-degree temperatures over the holiday weekend. The victim called her mother on December 25, 2022 and told her mother what was happening and asked for help. Her mother was able to get in contact with the 75th Precinct and police officers from the precinct found the victim at the track and she was taken to the police station and then to the hospital.
It is alleged that in addition to the teen victim, the defendant was also promoting prostitution of a 21-year-old woman from California.
The case was investigated by New York City Police Department Detective Antonio Pagan of the joint NYPD/FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, under the supervision of Lieutenant Joseph Picarello and Captain Thomas Milano.
The District Attorney thanked Special Agents assigned to the Los Angeles field office on the FBI Child Exploitation & Human Trafficking Task Force for their assistance in the investigation.
Senior Intelligence Analyst Kayleigh Homer of the District Attorney’s Digital Evidence Lab Intelligence Unit assisted in the investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Iorio, of the District Attorney’s Human Trafficking Unit, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney David Weiss, Deputy Unit Chief, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Miss Gregory, Chief of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt