Three Camden Co., NJ, Residents Were Prostituting 17-year-old girl, Indictment Says
Three Camden County residents have been formally charged for allegedly trafficking a missing 17-year-old for prostitution.
Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin announced on Friday that a state grand jury has indicted Marquise Ogawa, 28, of Lawnside, Chyaire Lee, 26, of Lawnside, and Jazmin Scott, 21, of Collingswood, on first-degree conspiracy, first-degree human trafficking, second-degree facilitating human trafficking, first-degree promoting prostitution, and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
According to the indictment, the minor was transported for the purposes of sex trafficking between August 2021 and November 2021.
According to authorities, the 17-year-old was reported missing out of Voorhees in October 2021. That launched a three-month investigation.
Detectives discovered numerous online ads that were offering the missing juvenile for prostitution in Cherry Hill, authorities said. Detectives located and arrested Scott on Nov. 24, after she allegedly attempted to prostitute the minor. At that point, the missing juvenile was located and reunited with her family.
Further investigation linked Scott to a human trafficking network that allegedly involved Ogawa and Lee. Lee allegedly arranged for customers to have sex with the juvenile, paid for hotel rooms and transported the victim, and collected payments. Ogawa, who's been additionally charged with first-degree promoting organized street crime, allegedly managed the trafficking network.
Ogawa and Lee were arrested on Dec. 3. They're detained in the Camden County Correctional Facility; Scott was released but is being monitored, the Attorney General's Office said.
"Human trafficking is a crime that often occurs in the shadows and is difficult to detect," Acting Attorney General Platkin said. "We are committed to collaborating with the State Police and our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those who traffic and sexually exploit children."
Officials urge anyone who believes a child or teenager is being exploited in this manner to report it confidentially by calling the Division of Criminal Justice's Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-855-END-NJ-HT.