Prosecutor: 10 arrested in Secaucus prostitution sting that involved 16-year-old


10 were arrested last week in a Secaucus prostitution sting that included the exploitation of a 16-year-old girl, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.

Vernon Brooks. Photo courtesy of Hudson County Prosecutor's Office.
Vernon Brooks. Photo courtesy of Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

On Friday, October 21, members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and the Secaucus Police Department conducted a child exploitation/undercover prostitution operation in Secaucus, Suarez said in a media release.

During the course of the operation, an undercover officer contacted several escorts who placed advertisements on a website and made arrangements to meet. During each meeting, the undercover officer and escorts negotiated a sexual act in exchange for money, officials said.

Once the negotiation was complete, the escorts were taken into custody and charged with engaging in prostitution. Officers also recovered approximately $1,400 cash, authorities said.

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, police said.

The 16-year-old victim was had been reported as a missing child and that was previously involved in human trafficking in Union County, officials said.

Vernon Brooke, 25, of Carteret, was charged with promoting prostitution of a minor and endangering the welfare of a minor and his bail was set at $100,000 cash or bond.

Additionally, Ray Marlon Owens, 37, of Baltimore, MD, Leia Alliston, 41, of New York, New York and Kevin William, 26, of Orange were charged with promoting prostitution.

Finally, the following women were arrested for engaging in prostitution:

Carolina Barhena, 32, of Bronx, NY


Lisa Bengtson, age 33, Baltimore, MD


Jaran Elizabeth-Ellen Reid, 21, of Newark


Jennifer Crisp, 37, of Sioux Falls, SD


Pa Lee, 43, of Flushing, NY


Tahinah Borgella, 28, of West Orange