Retired officer paid to have sex with 14-year-old ‘sex slave,’ NJ prosecutors say
ATLANTIC CITY — Two Atlantic County residents have been charged with prostituting a 14-year-old girl, who prosecutors say was made to have sex with several paying men, including a retired corrections officer.
State prosecutors said Tiffany N. Davis, 39, of Egg Harbor Township, placed online ads promoting the underage girl's services. Proceeds from the illegal sex work was split with Derrick V. Ross, 26, of Atlantic City, who drove the teen to a city casino on Nov. 27 to hook up with an undercover State Police detective who had responded to one of the ads, prosecutors said.
Ross was arrested Nov. 27 and Davis was arrested Jan. 17 and charged with first-degree human trafficking, first-degree promoting prostitution of a child and second-degree child endangerment. Davis also was charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit human trafficking.
Prosecutors say one of the pair's customers was a retired state corrections officer, 52-year-old Kurt C. Young, of South Dennis, who arranged with Davis to pay to have the teen be sent to his home for sex. He was charged with 2nd-degree sexual assault of a child under 16 and engaging in prostitution with a minor.
Records show Young retired from Bayside State Prison in Maurice River in 2012. New Jersey 101.5 did not know whether Young had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Davis' attorney said that his client believed that the teen was an adult because she had told her that she was 18 years old.
“It doesn’t make it justifiable but it certainly is an issue,” Michael Schreiber said, adding that it was unfair that a Superior Court judge on Wednesday agreed with a deputy attorney general's request to keep Davis locked up pending trial.
Schreiber said Davis cooperated with investigators and provided information that resulted in another arrest.
He also argued that Davis is not a flight risk because she does not have a history of missing court appearances and has seven children that she provides for. He said her mother is also a survivor of a brain aneurism, indicating a hardship that the court should have considered when deciding whether to release her from custody.
An attorney for Ross did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday afternoon.
The teen — who is not related to any of the three suspects — was connected with support services after she arrived at the casino hotel on Nov. 27, state officials said.
State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal called this a case of "sexual slavery."
"We will never cease in our efforts to rescue these victims and bring those who brutally exploit them to justice," he said in a written statement on Thursday.
State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan also described the case as a "crime against humanity" and urged anyone in the public "who observes a suspicious circumstance involving a child or adolescent to report it immediately.”
Human trafficking is one of the top concerns for law enforcement in the state, which has a confidential hotline to report information — 1-855-END-NJ-HT. A nine-page directive from the state Attorney General's Office in 2012 outlines the steps police must take when they discover that a prostitution investigation involved potential trafficking victims.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.