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Hawaii News

Ewa Beach man pleads not guilty to federal sex charges

A 26-year-old Ewa Beach man, indicted for allegedly forcing a teenage girl into prostitution for about seven months in Hawaii, pleaded not guilty yesterday in federal court.

Quadralis Jerod Watson, also known as "Danger" and by about 30 aliases, was indicted by a federal grand jury May 27 on charges of sex trafficking of children and trafficking by force and coercion.

"The accusation is that he was a pimp who coerced at least one teenage girl into a life of forced prostitution," FBI Special Agent Tom Simon said.

Watson allegedly recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided and obtained a girl between the ages of 14 and 17 to engage in prostitution between August 2007 and March 1, 2008, the indictment said.

"These are serious allegations, and the FBI will not hesitate to investigate any allegation of children being forced into prostitution here in Hawaii," said Simon, who would not provide further details of the case. The indictment was unsealed yesterday.

Watson was acquitted last month of an unrelated 2008 Waikiki robbery charge.

The Georgia-born Watson was extradited last year to Honolulu from Georgia for that case, in which he and another man were accused of hitting a man with a rock and stealing his money. Prosecutors had dropped the assault charge and tried him for the robbery only.

The defense claimed it was a drug deal, and Watson was found not guilty May 6.

Watson is scheduled for a detention hearing at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

Honolulu police had arrested Watson on June 1 on suspicion of assault and drug offenses as well as the federal offense. City prosecutors charged Watson on Thursday with third-degree promotion of dangerous drugs for allegedly possessing cocaine. He was turned over Friday to federal authorities.

Watson was convicted July 31, 2008, in state court of prostitution, a misdemeanor. In that case, Watson drove up to and solicited sex from an undercover officer dressed in a tank top, denim shorts and heels Nov. 22, 2006, on Aala Street in downtown Honolulu. He pleaded guilty and was given six months’ probation and a $500 fine. He was resentenced Nov. 10 to 20 days’ confinement.

 

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