Though police have not yet cracked the homicide case involving the bodies of several women found along a stretch of highway on Gilgo Beach two years ago, one pimp connected to a victim was sentenced Friday for prostition.
The pimp, Akeem Cruz of Brooklyn, was the last to see Megan Waterman as he brought her to a sex customer to a Hauppauge motel on June 5, 2010. After her meeting with the client, Waterman called Cruz – who was also her boyfriend – on the phone at 1:30 a.m. Waterman was not seen or heard from again. Her remains were found near those of three other prostitutes on the side of the road on December 13 of that year.
Since the first discovery of the women’s remains two years ago, a total of ten sets of remains have been found, including those of victim Shannan Gilbert. Both Waterman and Gilbert had used Craigslist to seek clients.
Cruz is being charged with federal prostitution offenses, and will only serve three years in jail. Guidelines recommended he be sentenced for 18 to 24 months for the crime, but U.S. District Judge Edward Korman insisted on raising the sentence. Judge Korman stated that though Cruz was not responsible for the murder, he “put her in the zone of danger” and extended his sentenced to deter other would-be pimps.
Prison would not be new for Cruz, who had been imprisoned pled guilty in July 2012 to charges of interstate transportation of Waterman and another woman for the purpose of prostitution, and has been in prison since January 2012.
At his hearing, Cruz expressed remorse at his actions, and the death of Waterman, whom he said was a person that he loved.
"I take full responsibility for my actions," said Cruz. "I am sorry. I am truly sorry. I have to live the rest of my life with this regret."