East New York

East New York man who pimped out teenagers sentenced to 4 to 12 years

June 19, 2019 Noah Goldberg
Jonathan Harris was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison for pimping out teenage girls and young women and assaulting one of them. Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn District Attorney
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An East New York man who pimped out teenage girls and repeatedly assaulted one said in court on Wednesday that he understood his actions were “detrimental” to his victims.

Jonathan Harris was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison on Wednesday for promoting the prostitution of nine young women, ranging in age from 15 to 21. Most of the girls he prostituted were only 16 or 17 years old, and Harris — along with a co-defendant — lured them to New York City from out of state, according to prosecutors.

Before he was sentenced, Harris admitted in Brooklyn Supreme Court that he understood the pain caused by his actions.

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“I apologize to the victims and families for my role. I understand it was very detrimental to them, and I’m getting better,” he said.

“This defendant took advantage of vulnerable young women, luring them to New York City to work as prostitutes and used violence to get them to do his bidding,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez in a statement. “I am committed to holding accountable those who violate and prey on our young women.”

While Harris was not convicted of sex trafficking, his co-defendant, Tariq Washington, pleaded guilty to that charge.

Harris and Washington found the girls and women on Backpage.com, then convinced them to come to New York. They sent the young women bus tickets to get to the city, and rented rooms at Brooklyn motels where men would come and pay for sex, according to prosecutors.

An 18-year-old victim from Philadelphia was repeatedly assaulted by Harris, who forced her to prostitute herself, according to the DA. After two months, she left him and contacted police.

Harris will have to register as a sex offender when released from prison.

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