SECAUCUS — Ten people have been arrested and are facing prostitution charges stemming from a sting that uncovered a teenage girl being exploited for sex work in this Hudson County suburb.

Prosecutors said investigators contacted escorts that advertised online. One of them turned out to be a 16-year-old girl from Union County.

Vernon T. Brooks, 25, of Carteret, was charged with promoting prostitution of a minor and endangering the welfare of a minor. He was being held with bail set at $100,000 cash or bond.

Also charged by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office with promoting prostitution:

  • Kevin William, 26, of Orange
  • Ray Marlon Owens, 37, of Baltimore
  • Leia Alliston, 41, of Manhattan

Prosecutors charged these suspects with engaging in prostitution:

  • Tahinah Borgella, 28, of West Orange
  • Jaran Elizabeth-Ellen Reid, 21, of Newark
  • Carolina Barhena, 32, of the Bronx
  • Lisa Bengtson, 33, of Baltimore
  • Jennifer Crisp, 37, of Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Pa Lee, 43, of Flushing, N.Y.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email

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