Mar. 29, 2023 By Bill Parry
A Long Island man was indicted on sex trafficking charges and faces up to 50 years in prison for allegedly forcing two women to engage in prostitution and assaulting and robbing them while weaponizing personalized tattoos as a twisted form of branding his victims, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced on March 29.
Cleveland Sterling, 34, of Arcadia Avenue in Uniondale, was arraigned on March 28 before Queens Supreme Court Justice Peter Vallone on a 21-count indictment charging him with sex trafficking, promoting prostitution, robbery, grand larceny, petit larceny and criminal mischief.
Sterling met his first victim, a then-19-year-old woman in 2016, and on multiple occasions through November 2022 forced her to engage in sex for money at various locations across Queens, according to the charges. Sterling took photographs of his victim and used them to create online ads for sex. He communicated with customers, arranged prostitution dates and collected and required the victim to turn over to him all payments for the sexual encounters.