Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez released the following information:
On October 21, 2016, members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and the Secaucus Police Department conducted a child exploitation/undercover prostitution operation in Secaucus.
During the course of the operation, an undercover officer contacted several escorts who placed advertisements on an online website and made arrangements to meet. During each meeting, the undercover officer and escorts negotiated a sexual act in exchange for money. Once the negotiation was complete, the escorts were taken into custody and charged with engaging in prostitution. Officers also recovered approximately $1400 in U.S. currency.
During the operation, a 16-year-old female who was identified as an escort negotiated with an undercover officer to exchange a sexual act for money. She was treated as a victim and not charged. The 16-year-old victim was discovered to be a reported missing child and that she was previously involved in human trafficking in Union County.
Arrested and charged with promoting prostitution were
Ray Marlon Owens, age 37, from Baltimore, Md.,
Leia Alliston, age 41, from New York, N.Y., and
Kevin William, age 26, from Orange.
Additionally charged was
Vernon T. Brooks, age 25, from Carteret, who was arrested for promoting prostitution of a minor and endangering the welfare of a minor. Brooks bail was set at $100,000 cash or bond.
The following individuals were arrested for engaging in prostitution:
Carolina Barhena, age 32, of Bronx, N.Y.;
Lisa Bengtson, age 33, of Baltimore, Md.;
Jaran Elizabeth-Ellen Reid, age 21, of Newark;
Jennifer Crisp, age 37, of Sioux Falls, S.D.;
Pa Lee, age 43, of Flushing, N.Y.; and
Tahinah Borgella, age 28, of West Orange.
The above charges are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).