WESTBURY, Long Island (PIX11) — Jasmine Krokowsky said she was 17 years old when a friend introduced her to a guy from Westbury, who asked if she wanted to hang out and use some cocaine.
She recalled going with him to a house in Suffolk County, where they encountered a group of men.
“There were about six of them,” Krokowsky told PIX11 News. “He told me that I was to sleep with all of them and, if I didn’t, he was going to kill me.”
Krokowsky said this was her entry into the world of sex trafficking.
“He said there was no way of going back to my family’s house,” Krokowsky said, “and I’m going to stay with him and do everything he wants me to do.”
Krokowsky said she was living in the New Cassel section of Westbury with her tormentor’s family.
“I was raped by his stepfather often,” Krokowsky recounted, “who I believe also had a drug addiction.”
She said her trafficker used to sell her for sex to low-income and undocumented workers but also allowed relatives in the Bronx to assault her sexually.
“He proudly said that he drugged me just enough that I would be coherent, but I couldn’t fight back,” Krokowsky said.
Jasmine Krokowsky, like so many other teens and women who are trafficked, had a history of family discord and was molested by a relative at age 5. A close family member used heroin.
“There’s a lot of young people who are struggling with trauma,” Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds—CEO of the Family and Children’s Association—said. “When you take the two things—drugs and trauma—and put them together in an environment with predators out there, it makes for a difficult equation, and getting out is usually very, very difficult.”
Yet Krokowsky was fortunate.
About three months after she was kidnapped into the life, her trafficker was arrested on a gun charge, she said, and police paved the way for her to go home.
Krokowsky said she learned the man was affiliated with the Trinitarios gang.
Dr. Errol Toulon, Jr.–Sheriff of Suffolk County—said he started a jailhouse program in 2018 that was the first of its kind in the nation. He aimed to identify victims of sex trafficking among the female detainees in his jail.
“Trafficking is occurring in almost every hotel on Long Island,” Toulon said. “Some more than others.”
He pointed to numerous managers who allegedly allow traffickers to move sex workers and drugs through the hotels, taking pay-offs. This past November, Jigar Dadarwala and his parents—who operated the Sayville Motor Lodge for nearly 40 years—were accused by federal authorities of facilitating sex and drug trafficking in their motel. As a result, the site was closed down.
Two brothers who allegedly had ties to the Bloods gang were accused in March this year of using the Sayville motel and other spots for sex trafficking.
“Approximately 36 to 39% of the traffickers are gang affiliated,” Toulon, Jr. said.
But he said many more women—and men—are acting independently.
“We know that national groups have identified Nassau and Suffolk counties as being one of the key areas when it comes to trafficking,” Dr. Reynolds said. “Part of the reason is our proximity to New York City. Another reason is our opioid crisis and folks exchanging drugs for sex.”
Jasmine Krokowsky told us she is now 24, married, and the mother of a little boy. She said she’s been sober for five years and works with ECLI/Vibes, an organization that helps trafficking survivors.