As a suburban Chicago man recently found out, being convicted of a sex crime is a serious matter that can lead to serving serious prison time. An increased awareness of human trafficking activities has led to more aggressive prosecution of sex crimes, especially in those instances where women are allegedly forced into prostitution. A federal judge sentenced the 47-year-old man to life in prison earlier this month for a host of crimes, including selling nearly two-dozen women into prostitution over the years.
Police say that this man recruited foreign women to work in his massage parlor, bringing them into the country illegally with the promise of work. Once the women were on American soil, he would force them to have sex for money that they didn’t even receive.
The man would allegedly beat the women and use humiliating tactics to keep them from fleeing. The women were given various tattoos, a move that the judge in this case cited as a “life sentence” of pain for the women when passing sentence on the man. A federal jury found him guilty of multiple counts of extortion, harboring illegal immigrants, forced labor and sex trafficking by force.
The man, however, continued to deny his guilt during his sentencing hearing. In remarks before the court, the man said that he did not know anything about being a pimp. In a case of he-said, she-said, it’s important to anticipate who a jury will believe. Perhaps a plea deal could have served the man better in this case, since he will now spend the rest of his life in federal prison.
Source: ChicagoTribune.com, “Convicted pimp sentenced to life in prison,” Annie Sweeney, Nov. 26, 2012.