Senior Prostitution Ring Busted at NJ Elderly Housing Complex

Wednesday, 15 May 2013 11:15 AM

By Michael Mullins

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A 75-year-old resident at a senior citizen housing complex in Englewood, N.J., was arrested in connection with a prostitution ring he allegedly operated, at times employing his fellow residents as sex workers.

James Parham is also being accused of selling crack cocaine, along with fellow resident Cheryl Chaney, 66, to both residents and visitors, according to police.

"In this particular case, the seniors were supplementing their income in a way that wasn't desirable for the rest of the people in the building," Englewood Police Chief Arthur O'Keefe told NBC 4 New York on Tuesday. "Certainly I'm not old enough to say I've seen everything, there's always another story another chapter."

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In addition to the alleged drug use and sex acts being performed behind closed doors at the senior facility, O'Keefe added that there were some instances in which the illicit behavior was performed out in the open in common areas at the complex.

Parham allegedly employed a mix of young women and older residents in his prostitution ring, which would primarily operate out of his apartment, while Chaney allegedly allowed both residents and non-residents to use drugs in her apartment, NBC 4 New York reported.

None of the alleged prostitutes were arrested, said police.

Both suspects have been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a nuisance. Additionally, Chaney has also been charged with possession of crack cocaine.

The charges however do not stop with seniors at the complex.

Police also charged 54-year-old Selma McDuffie, who has been suspended as a school crossing guard, with having a crack pipe, The Associated Press reported.

Reacting to the arrests, Englewood resident Kevin Thomas, who says he has loved ones that live in the complex, told NBC News he doesn't understand what motivated the seniors to allegedly commit the crimes at this stage in their life.

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"Why they wait so late in life to start doing stuff they should have did years ago, or shouldn't have touched [it] period, why do you wait this late?" Thomas said.

The 152-unit property is run by the Englewood Housing Authority. The facility primarily serves disabled and low-income individuals from the area who are at least 62 years of age, the AP reported.

Related stories:

Pimps Force Mexican Women Into Prostitution in US

New York's New Prostitution Law

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