MAYS LANDING — A 36-year-old man accused of holding at least two women captive in his home and forcing them into prostitution pleaded not guilty Tuesday.
El Joshua, of Mays Landing, was indicted last month on nine counts, including five counts of human trafficking after his arrest Feb. 21.
At his arraignment Tuesday before Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Patricia M. Wild, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Danielle S. Buckley said the state has offered Joshua 20 years in prison in exchange for pleading guilty to two counts of human trafficking.
Buckley said the charges were related to two victims.
Joshua’s attorney, Katherin Weigel, told Wild she is still awaiting some supplemental discovery from the prosecution, including recorded interviews and photos.
According to arrest records, Joshua held the women in a Pearce Road home, where they had to ask permission to use the bathroom and endured threats Joshua made using an airsoft gun.
Joshua also allegedly arranged “dates” for the women at Atlantic City casinos and along Atlantic Avenue, forcing them to have sex with customers in exchange for heroin, court documents show.
One of the women apparently escaped through a window while fending off an attack from Joshua on Dec. 19 and told Hamilton Township police she was being held against her will.
Joshua remains in the Atlantic County jail. His next appearance is July 2.