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NYPD detective pimped runaway, 13, authorities say

  • Story Highlights
  • Cop, wife allegedly sold girl's services at parties across city
  • Police: Girl said detective threatened to put her on streets
  • Wife, others allegedly beat girl for not making enough money
  • Case will be "vigorously prosecuted," district attorney promises
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From Cheryl Robinson
CNN
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- A New York City police detective faces charges including child endangerment for allegedly forcing a 13-year-old runaway to work as a prostitute at parties, police say.

A woman identified as the detective's wife also was arrested in the case, the Queens district attorney said.

"This case is every parent and every child's worst nightmare, made even more frightening by the fact that one of the defendants is a police officer who swore to uphold the law and protect the community he serves," Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a statement Wednesday.

Detective Wayne Taylor, a 14-year veteran of the NYPD, and Zelika Brown pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, promoting prostitution, assault, and child endangerment Wednesday in Queens Criminal Court. Taylor has been suspended, without pay, from the NYPD. Video Watch Taylor get swarmed by media »

"He was involved in the pimping out of a girl under 16," NYPD Detective Martin Speechley told CNN. Speechley said the girl approached the police and identified Taylor as the man who had forced her to work as a prostitute.

According to prosecutors, the girl ran away from home in Brooklyn on January 10 and met someone known as "Drama" who offered her a job as a dancer for parties.

This person then brought the girl to Zelika Brown, who later informed the victim that she had been purchased for $500 and would have to work off her debt as a prostitute, the authorities said.

Brown brought the victim to the home that she and Taylor share in Queens, prosecutors said.

Taylor instructed the victim to say she was 19 years old if asked and gave her a price list for sexual services she was to perform, prosecutors said.

Taylor and Brown took the victim to a party at a barbershop in Queens, where men paid Taylor cash to have either sexual intercourse or oral sex with the girl, according to prosecutors.

After the party, prosecutors said, Brown slammed the victim's head into the floor and allowed other prostitutes who also worked for her to strike the victim because she said the girl did not earn enough money.

The victim told police after this incident Taylor threatened that he would make her sell her body on the streets if she did not earn enough money or if she tried to leave.

Authorities say over a three-week period, the victim performed sexual acts with approximately 20 men at numerous parties throughout the city until she managed to escape and return to her family.

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District Attorney Brown said "the case will be vigorously prosecuted."

Taylor and Zelika Brown could face 25 years in prison if convicted. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Mythili Rao contributed to this report.

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