A couple living in the Bronx have been arrested by the police for forcing a 14-year-old girl into prostitution, holding her at gunpoint and raping her as a part of the illegal sex ring they ran out of their New York apartment. The couple were arrested after the police raided their apartment on Thursday
The police have apprehended 38-year-old Maurice Hines and 29-year-old Shurine Byron as being the criminal minds behind the prostitution ring in the University Heights apartment. The underage girl was rescued from the home during the raid and taken to North Central Bronx Hospital for observation. According to the police, the couple will both be charged with sex trafficking and promoting prostitution.
Maurice Hines will also be facing additional charges of rape, associated with the rescued 14-year-old girl from the apartment. According to the New York Post, the girl informed the detectives that Hines had raped her last June and continued his sexual assault during the months that she had been held captive inside of the apartment. The young girl also informed the officers that she had been held captive for little over two months and often forced at gunpoint to have sex with numerous men in exchange for money, and her life threatened each time she tried to leave.
Bronx couple forced 14-year-old girl into prostitution, raped: cops https://t.co/05tw0tO1NJ— David Hale (@DavidHa51596823) January 9, 2016
The 14-year-old girl also alleged that Maurice’s threats centred around shooting her in the head. The police did not find a firearm at the time of their raid. Though no reports have released the identity of the young girl since she is a minor involved in sexual assault, they did advise that the girl had run away from home prior to being held in the Bronx couple’s apartment. It is still unclear how exactly she wound up being pimped out of the apartment.
The full range of charges to be brought against Hines are rape, menacing, unlawful imprisonment, compelling prostitution of a person aged 16 or under, and trafficking sex. Hines’ long rap sheet includes being busted approximately 28 other times for crimes that include aggravated harassment and assault. Shurine Byron has no prior arrest record.
The New York Daily News reported that there was another woman arrested during the 2 p.m. police raid on the squalid Bronx apartment. Twenty-five-year-old Curintina Mulrain is believed to have been another prostitute that operated out of the raided apartment. The police are unsure if Mulrain, who had told family members that she was working out of a retail store in the city, was also held in the University Avenue apartment against her will. The investigation also revealed that several other women worked as prostitutes out of the apartment and will continue their investigation into their willingness to be there.
Bronx couple busted for sex ring, pimping out underage girl https://t.co/1FZuO4mzCK— Wackymoe (@wackymoe) January 9, 2016
Speaking with the neighbours in the apartment building, the couple’s second floor apartment was described as being seedy and constantly smelling of marijuana. It was also said that in recent months there had been a steady stream of men coming and going at the apartment. The building’s superintendent added that the couple had over $10,000 owed in rent and that electricity to the apartment had been disconnected for over a year now. The superintendent said that numerous complaints had been made by the neighbours regarding the activities taking place in the arrested couple’s apartment.
The arrest is the second time in just a few months that a sex ring being operated out of a Bronx apartment has been busted up and both involved underage prostitution. In November, a pimp in a wheelchair was arrested for his apartment sex trade.
It is expected that Hines, Byron, and Mulrain will be arraigned this morning.
[Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images]