A Times Square performer who was arrested last week says that she shouldn't be behind bars. Destiny Romero gave a brief interview to the Daily News from Rikers, "Everything [the police] said about me was false. It was a setup."
Police say that the 20-year-old Romero, who is one of the "desnudas" of Times Square, struck up a conversation with undercover cops at 42nd Street and 7th Avenue on September 2nd at 9 p.m. She then introduced them to Jason Perez, 22, "who offered to sell them narcotics. Upon meeting a short time later at a nearby location [the Lexington Hotel], the couple sold the officers a quantity of cocaine and five (5) MDMA 'Molly' pills."
Romero was also accused of agreeing to perform oral sex on one of the officers. She was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal sale of a controlled substance and prostitution while Perez was charged criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal sale of a controlled substance, promoting prostitution and unlawful possession of marijuana.
The News reports that Romero "said she’d worked in Times Square as a desnuda for about a year and that her friend and handler, Jason Perez, got her into the job." One densnuda, Saira Nicole, told Gothamist, "Destiny doesn't have a team. I don't know her personally, but she was always off to the side in front of the Hard Rock Cafe with her boyfriend. I've heard that they deal with drugs. When I think of the painted ladies, she's not someone I think of."
The NYPD is starting a Times Square quality of life unit after (the Daily News') outcry about the desnudas.