3 sentenced for roles in New Jersey ring that prostituted teenage girl

HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey mother, her adult son and another woman are headed to state prison for their roles in a prostitution ring that forced a 16-year-old New York City girl to become a sex worker.

Ernestine Bowman, a 33-year-old Orange resident who ran the ring with her husband, received a 10-year sentence while her 23-year-old son, Glen Bowman Jr., of Brooklyn, New York, got a six-year term. Both were sentenced Friday.

Jessica Copeland, a 29-year-old Newark resident, was sentenced Monday to six years.

Authorities say ring members conspired to traffic a Brooklyn girl and made her work as a prostitute at motels in New Jersey. They say the teen was threatened with beatings if she didn’t follow the ring members’ orders.

The ring was brought down by an undercover operation launched by the South Hackensack Police Department in October 2014.

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