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Federal court judge delays sentencing of sex trafficker following emotional testimony

November 8, 2017 By Steve Ferraro Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A federal court judge from Brooklyn decided to delay sentencing a convicted sex trafficker following an emotional testimony from one of his victims on Tuesday. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese
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Federal court Judge Frederic Block was set to sentence a man convicted on sex trafficking charges on Tuesday, but put off his decision after he listened to a crying victim testify at a sentencing hearing.

Rodney Fequiere faces anywhere between 10 and 20 years in prison after he was convicted on four charges including sex trafficking of a child and interstate prostitution of a child. He sat in his olive-toned jumpsuit while staring at the table in front of him, unable to look up, while the girl fought through tears to explain her story to the judge.

The victim, identified as Jane Doe No. 1, walked up to the prosecutor’s table shaking and red eyed as two government agents escorted her by the arms. Doe, who is now 22, recounted meeting Fequiere as a homeless 17-year-old. Fequiere first told Doe he was 21, only for her to later find out he was actually 32.

“I was desperate and he knew it,” Doe said. She then stopped talking and began to cry. Doe’s fiancé was called up to console her before she continued her testimony.

Doe explained that she immediately moved in with Fequiere, who was living with two other women. She said that she didn’t know that he was a solicitor until he explained the rules of the house to her.

Two other women lived in the house, she said, including one, identified as Crystal, who helped solicit girls into prostitution for Fequiere. Fequiere soon after threatened to kick Doe out of his home if she didn’t do the same.

Doe’s world had become a “lifestyle full of parties,” she explained. Fequiere pressured her to do drugs, which she refused, and set up “dates” for her where she would be prostituted to men. Fequiere kept a steady eye on Doe and knew where she was at all times. She explained that he bought her a cellphone that she was only allowed to use to contact him.

Fequiere would eventually get Doe pregnant. When Doe refused to have an abortion, Fequiere beat her in an attempt to cause a miscarriage, she said. Doe said she was forced to work as a prostitute up to seven months into the pregnancy before she was able to get away.

“I left, but I couldn’t stay in a clinic out of fear that he would find me,” she said.

After she gave birth, Fequiere threatened her life and her child’s, who was born autistic, Doe testified. He also refused to sign a birth certificate as the child’s father or take a paternity test.

“The threats didn’t stop until he was locked up,” she said, still crying. “I want this man to get the punishment he deserves.”

Fequiere was arrested on March 18, 2014 at Sunny 39 Hotel in the Sunset Park area of Brooklyn, according to court documents. Fequiere was brought down by a Facebook sting where an FBI agent and a cooperating witness posed as a 15-year-old girl looking for a job as a prostitute.

The judge explained that he didn’t want to “race to judgement” after hearing the emotional testimony. He put off sentencing until Nov. 16.

 


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