QUEENS, N.Y. (PIX11) – When Jalene Lugo started taking the No. 7 train from high school, the 14-year-old didn’t expect to encounter sex workers on virtually every block of the walk home near the Jackson Heights-Corona border.
“During school hours, they’re out,” the high school freshman said, strolling on Roosevelt Avenue with a Kirby doll attached to her bookbag, as she passed several provocatively dressed women in a doorway near 93rd Street. “They will be out with their pimps and they don’t care.”
PIX11 News traveled to the area three separate times in recent weeks and noticed an increase in sex workers during the daytime, going west from Junction Boulevard toward streets in the 90s and 80s on Roosevelt Avenue. At one site, a woman led men down a stairwell to an alleged basement brothel.
As darkness fell on a Friday evening, men steered customers toward establishments near 88th Street as a woman wearing a form-fitting red dress sat on a chair outside.
During the day, the women stand outside pharmacies, medical offices, cellphone stores and physical therapy centers, often wearing schoolgirl skirts, shorts, or tight dresses. Alleged sex workers were also seen sitting on mattresses outside a furniture store.