Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief James Conroy of the East Brunswick Police Department announced today that two people from Bronx, New York and a Rabbi from East Brunswick have been charged in connection to the human trafficking and prostitution of a 17-year old girl from Lancaster PA.
According to authorities Gabriella Colon, 18, and Richard Ortiz, 23, both of Bronx, New York have been charged with 11 criminal counts including human trafficking, conspiracy to commit human trafficking, promoting prostitution of a child, conspiracy to promote prostitution of a child, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal restraint, and a number of child pornography offenses including the manufacturing, distribution and possession of pornography.
Police arrested Colon and Ortiz at a motel in Fort Lee on Feb. 16th and both are being held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick pending a Detention Hearing.
In addition, authorities charged Aryeh Goodman, 35, a Rabbi from East Brunswick, with one count of engaging in prostitution with a child and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.
Police said Goodman who runs a Chabad, a religious learning center, out of his home in East Brunswick and may have affiliation with another on Lexington Avenue in the Township, turned himself in to authorities at the East Brunswick Police Department while accompanied by his attorney on Feb. 6th.
The investigation determined that Colon and Ortiz sold the sexual services of a 17-year old female to approximately 30 men from Jan. 1st to Feb. 2nd, at a hotel in East Brunswick. In addition, the investigation revealed that on Feb. 1st the Rabbi engaged in sexual relations with the 17-year old at a hotel in East Brunswick.
The investigation is active and is continuing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Chris Farrace or Detective Dan Unkel of the East Brunswick Police Department at (732) 390-6900, or Detective Mark Morris of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4194.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Colon, Ortiz and Goodman are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
*Goodman and his center is not affiliated with the Chabad Lubavitch movement.