Brooklyn DA: Sex Trafficking Ring Broken Up After Slave Tips Off NYPD

Then-Teen Suffered Years Of Horrific Abuse Before Finally Turning The Tables

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Four men were arrested Wednesday in connection with a brutal sex trafficking operation in Brooklyn after a 20-year-old woman bravely came forward after eight years as a sex slave, officials said.

The alleged victim was a vulnerable young girl from a good family who in 2003, at the age of 13, was raped by two men and forced to become a prostitute, officials said. The woman said she was beaten, stabbed and forced to sleep with homeless men when the proceeds she brought in weren’t perceived to be enough.

1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports: Sex Trafficking Operation Busted

Alleged ringleader Damien Crooks was seen entering a Brooklyn courtroom Wednesday, charged with repeatedly raping and forcing into prostitution the then-teen, reports CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.

It began with Crooks allegedly raping the girl in a neighborhood park, followed by a non-stop campaign of terror for the next eight years while the girl lived with her parents.

“Crooks would not let her go. He followed her. He threatened her. He showed up at her work and at school and through threats of physical abuse he continued to force her to have sex with numerous men, keeping all the money for himself,” Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said.

“He even sold her on the street for $20 to a passerby.”

Prosecutors said Crooks had help. Darrell Dula, Jamali Brockett and his brother, Jawara Brockett, are also charged with raping the girl in addition to other crimes.

Together, all are accused of making the girl afraid not only for her own life, but for the lives of her loved ones.

So she kept it all secret, sneaking out of her parents’ house late at night.

The turning point for the victim came as she was studying criminal justice at John Jay College. Her tormentors were threatening to recruit one of her close family members and she could not let that happen, so she went to her professor, Jeff Kern, a former prosecutor.

“It’s hard to imagine something more tragic than this,” Kern said. “I always perceived in her an inner strength, a core strength that allowed her to get through all this to be productive and even thrive.”

1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports: Other Victims Are Urged To Come Forward

“They trafficked her, they forced her into prostitution, basically beating her, raping her and threatening that if she told anybody that they would harm her family and her,” Brooklyn prosecutor Lauren Hirsch, the chief of the Sex Crimes Trafficking Unit, said.

“Every day is a struggle for her. As time goes on things will become easier and easier.”

The ordeal is not over. The victim’s immediate family members, who did not know the full story until recently, had to be relocated to a secret, safe place.

Investigators suspect there are more young victims, who they hope will follow the example of a brave young woman who came forward to stop a nightmare.

Last year the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office launched an anti-sex trafficking campaign with a 24-hour hotline and posters across the borough. Since then, 26 alleged sex traffickers have been indicted.

Other victims are urged to call the hotline at 718-250-2770.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Dave Carlin
  • James Johnson

    What does these people’s race have to do with anything? What color are most of those men who go to Indonesia to solicit sex slaves?

  • James Johnson

    The victim of ths story should see the movie I Spit on Your Grave.

  • TJ

    Hey Al Sharpton will you be report this on your msnbc show tonight and reporting the colors of the preps and the victim on this case. Or since it was african american men victimizing a white girl that make it not news worthy. It only matters to you when it white on black crime. Black on white crime is is okay in your book right

  • BG

    Where is Al Sharpton on this?

  • Muh Lips, muh lips, muh lips

    Tie their hands behind their backs, put Lip Plates on them, then parade them around on TV, so that the whole world can see them.

  • THE Reality Tsar

    Just curious, why do you think she is white? Don’t perps generally victimize people who are the same race as they are

    • Eric

      According to FBI stats, black people are 18 times more likely to murder a white person than vice versa. I suppose the same holds true for rape and sex traffic.

  • THE Reality Tsar

    Tara ann rose are you related to Rosanna danadana?

    You’re right, its whitey, the root of all crime in the community… Actually, your post is the product of delusions. You need help.

    As for this story it is largely bullsh&t

  • DigitalBob

    Yeah…right. A prostitute against her will for 8 YEARS who snuck out at night and never said anything to anyone? Call me skeptical.

    • Rick


      Let the investigation proceed. The facts will come out.

      While it is possible that YOU might not have stayed silent if you were forced to be a prostitute, it is equally possible that another person may have acted differently than you. Especially a person who was 13 years old in the beginning, feared for her and her family’s safety, and was probably aware of what her victimizers are capable of.

  • Count Yob

    Hey Chris,

    I hope your degenerate buddies go to prison for a long, long time.

  • harry

    This story does not sound right!

    How could you sneak out of the house for 8 years!
    at night to turn tricks?

    people talk in the hood, everyone on the block would know and (kids love to inform
    on each other.

    The most my girl cousins got away with was sneeking out for boy friend
    sex in the park was 2 weeks, and the whole neighborhood
    ratted her out.

    This girl is a college senior at my almamata(studying to be in law enforcement
    and she still cooperated with this pimp?

    To me it sounds like a falling out among business partners.
    A teen prostitute, who grew up and decided to (shaft)
    her partner(pimp) with the most serious charges possible.

    since she has studied criminal law at john jay college of criminal justice

  • YK

    Any man that forces or pays a women or girl to have sex is not a man at all! These sick, phychopaths deserve nothing less than to die a slow & painful death!
    Btw you can’t blaim the girl, she was young and she was scared…I feel sorry for her, sorry that she felt helpless & alone

  • Mella

    Just wow…what is the matter with some of you? A 13 year old girl was brutally raped…multiple time, torment, tortured, had the lives of her family threatened and still had the inner strength to come forward to stop the abuse…and probably save the lives of many other children that those men would have done the same thing to. This should be an article that opens the eyes of the world to the depravity that is occurring right under our noses yet you choose to turn it into a race thing or a ethical/cultural thing. Shame on you! The simple facts are that she was horribly abused and will need years of therapy to ever feel even close to normal, that some brutal and nasty pedophiles will be going to prison for a long time, and that America needs to wake up…Human trafficking happens everywhere and we all need to get involved to stop it…regardless of our color, ethnicity, religion, gender, culture or socioeconomic background.

    • stella

      Here, here!!!!

  • Philip J Cenedella – we can end slavery in America if we all work together.

  • badman

    I don’t understand how “good” a family this could have been if this went on for 8 years without the girl asking her parents for help, or the parents noticing anything amiss.

    What the traffickers did was vile and they deserve extreme punishment, but something seems gravely amiss in a family where this could go on undetected for eight years.

    Am I misreading or missing something?

    • A Woman

      Acorrding to other news articles on this story,The woman’s family would have been in danger from the men if she would have told anyone. she probably didn’t’t want to risk having one of her family members harmed or, God forbid, killed. These men wouldn’t’t have flinched if they had to kill someone. In fact, Jawara Brockett, one of the defendants, killed a man in 2006. If you had to do something to protect the lives of your loved ones, wouldn’t you do the same as she did? Would you do it if it meant that you would be suffering silently for years because of it, like her? Would you have the strength to confront your tormentor after all that time, to bring them before a court so that what they did to you would finally end? I like to think that I would have the strength to do as she did, but, thank God, I wasn’t given that challenge in life, so I don’t have to find out. I am glad that this woman was able to move on in life and actually have the strength to tell someone what she was going through. Most sexually abused People cannot find the strength to, fearing that they are alone. I am happy that this woman was able to make a life of her own, without these men tormenting her. I pray that she find happiness and peace.

      • C.M.

        Given all the victim blaming in these comments alone, I understand why so many survivors of sexual abuse and rape DON’T come forward. Jaysus.

        @badman: Being ignorant doesn’t make this girl’s family bad. People lie to each other all the time and get away with it, too, and this girl did it to ensure her family’s safety. I imagine most families also cannot imagine the worst that could be happening to one of their family members – I mean, would you? People assume things are okay until they’re faced with the truth, and even then people go into denial as a safety mechanism. It happens, hindsight’s 20/20, don’t blame the family. They’re victims, too.

  • Polaris Project

    Thank you for reporting on the pressing issue of human trafficking. The more awareness the media can bring to the issue, the better. I would like to point out a few instances of how you accidentally portrayed the victim in a negative light in reporting the story. The brave woman who stepped forward and identified herself as a victim is just that- a victim- and not a “slave.” Also, saying she was from “a good family” is insulting to the many men, women, and children who are trafficked due to their vulnerability stemming from their upbringings in poverty. Being born into relative privilege shouldn’t be a factor in determining who receives media attention or care.

    The Brooklyn Sexual Trafficking Unit’s work is fantastic. Congratulations to them on their success. The Brooklyn hotline is a wonderful resource, but if you are not within its jurisdiction, there is a national number that handles tips from all over the US.

    If you or anyone you know sees or hears of something suspicious and you would like to report a tip, you can call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline tollfree, anonymously, 24/7 at 1888-3737-888. The Hotline is operated by Polaris Project, a leading anti-trafficking organization.

    • C.M.

      Thank you.

    • mella

      Thank you for the additional information…human trafficking must end!

  • Daniel K

    Wait, four B- men are charged with enslaving, raping, and selling a young girl and some of you are trying to make this about white men? Stay focused please.

  • doc in NJ

    women like you are destined to achieve greatness as a result of your survival through years of torment and torture.

    Thank God it’s over now – the healing can begin.

  • tara ann rose

    It is white middleclass men who are the supporters of this industry. They are the johns who actually enjoy having sex in sometimes squalid rooms with beaten and bleeding children whose legs are often held down and open for these men to rape them for money.
    This girl had some chance to escape moving freely. How her parents didnt know she was doing this for eight years is disturbing.
    Most sex traffickers dont let children leave the room and often make porn movies and eventually sell of snuff pron the child when they are “too old” for customers.
    Everyone knows why men come in and out of a house all day long–if the rewards were big they would turn them in.
    Men are having sex with these children then going home to sleep with their children–or back to work at the office, bank, hospital, police precint or law office.
    In 1988 my neighbors son was almost kidnapped by a group of men who spotted him in a park and had a buyer waiting for him at the other end. Lucklily his neighbors son came out of his house with a handgun and threatend the guys away. He was already in the backseat of the car. A wealthy man had ordered a red headed boy and his description fit the bill.
    Wake up NYC–thousand of young children are making somebody money everyday.

    • doc in NJ

      right on, tara. It’s a psychotic illness that feeds off of fear and torture. It makes me shiver to think I may be working alongside such creatures, even in medicine…

    • Lenn


  • Reggie Bern

    I know where this happened in brooklyn surprisingly white people wont like this but their is a large large Russian sex ring going on in sheepheads bay.
    As well albanians are getting involved as well but no one wants to talk about that you be surprised how many white american men put money into this .

    • becka

      actually you dont know

    • HUGO

      I thought the game plan was to stop putting out once they got married.

  • cygon

    OH MY GOD.

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