An East Harlem man has been arrested and accused of forcing three women, including a teen, into prostitution. Taye Ellerby, 35, is accused of holding a 24-year old woman, a 21-year-old woman, and a missing 17-year-old from Connecticut, in a home in the Taft Houses on Madison Ave. near E. 112th Street. "He had [the girls] lined up sitting on the couch," neighbor Jeanette Martinez told the News. “High-class white men would come and pick one out. But when the girls did something wrong, you could hear them screaming.”
Police believe Ellerby didn't abduct the women, but did coerce them to stay and forced them to have sex with men by force: “If they tried to leave, the pimp would hurt them. They got beat up a lot,” a source told the Post. That source added that he was advertising the women on Backpage.com and was clearing $300 a day on each one.
Ellerby has been charged with sex trafficking, promoting prostitution, and endangering the welfare of a child. But his mother defended him, saying he had lots of girlfriends (he has six children by five women) and wasn't a pimp: “How could he be holding them against their will if they can come and go?” asked his mom, Theresa. “He’s a ladies man."