Aug. 10, 2022 By Christian Murray
A 24-year-old Elmhurst man has been indicted on child sex trafficking charges for bringing his 17-year-old girlfriend into the country from Mexico and allegedly forcing her to have sex with strangers for cash.
Orlando Ramirez, of 43rd Avenue, allegedly forced the victim between September 2019 and July 2022 to engage in prostitution on an almost daily basis in various locations in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island and New Jersey.
Ramirez, who had a child with the victim, allegedly took all the proceeds that she earned. He also assaulted her and strangled her when she said she no longer wanted to participate in prostitution, according to the charges.
Ramirez was arraigned Tuesday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Peter Vallone on a 13-count indictment charging him with two counts of sex trafficking, sex trafficking of a child, compelling prostitution, promoting prostitution in the second degree, assault in the second and third degree, strangulation in the second degree, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, menacing in the second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree and endangering the welfare of a child.
If convicted, Ramirez faces up to 25 years in prison.
According to the charges, Ramirez threatened to kill his girlfriend and her family in Mexico when she refused to engage in prostitution.
During the early hours on July 11, 2022, she told him that she wanted to leave him because she wanted a better life for herself and their infant child.
Ramirez allegedly grew angry and pushed her against the wall, placed his hand around her neck and applied pressure that impeded her normal breathing. As he continued to strangle her, he displayed a kitchen knife and pointed it at her and threatened her.
He also hit her in the face with his sneaker causing redness inside her eye.
She managed to push herself away and attempted to flee the apartment that they shared but was stabbed by the defendant in her leg with the kitchen knife, causing bleeding and a laceration to her leg. The knife then broke in two pieces.
District Attorney Melinda Katz said that after the victim was stabbed, she managed to escape from the apartment at around 2 a.m. and ran to the 110th police precinct with her infant daughter. As the defendant ran after the victim, he was apprehended by police in front of the precinct.
The victim was taken to a local Queens hospital where she underwent treatment for her injuries, which required her to receive several stitches to the laceration to her leg.
Ramirez is now in custody and his next court date is Sept. 12.