HSI probe results in sex trafficking guilty plea for man who lured women from Canada with promises to “help” their modeling careers
LOS ANGELES – An Illinois man pleaded guilty today to a federal sex trafficking charge, admitting that he lured two victims – both of whom were 19 at the time – from Canada with promises of promoting their modeling careers, but instead, forced their victims to engage in commercial sex acts by employing force, fraud and/or coercion.
As a result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles, Jerome Terry Jr., 45, of Chicago, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking. In his plea agreement, Terry agreed to a prison sentence of between seven and 15 years in federal prison.
Terry admitted in court today that he and two co-conspirators set up a purported modeling management company called CanadianGirlzRock, Inc. to lure aspiring models to Los Angeles and other locations with the promise of modeling careers. In fact, Terry “intended and planned to recruit, entice and transport the women to Los Angeles, or other locations, and to harbor, provide, obtain and maintain the women to engage in commercial sex acts.”
After seeing photos of the first victim on social media, Terry contacted the woman, telling her she could come to Los Angeles to work as a model and event host. After the woman arrived in late April 2014, Terry used force, threats of force, fraud and/or coercion to cause the victim to engage in commercial sex acts with four clients over approximately four days.
Terry contacted the second woman in late 2014 after seeing photos of her online and told her he would help with her modeling career. Terry told the victim she would need to perform acts of prostitution to make money to support her modeling career, but that the proceeds would be put toward her modeling or given to her to send to her family. After the woman traveled to Los Angeles in early 2015, Terry used means of fraud – including the false and deceptive promises that he would put money from B.E.’s prostitution toward her modeling career or make the money available for her to send to her family – to cause the victim to engage in commercial sex acts with numerous clients over approximately 10 days. When the victim asked Terry about the money, Terry became angry and broke her phone, according to the plea agreement.
Terry has been in federal custody since his extradition from Canada in 2019. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 25.
Two co-conspirators originally charged with Terry in this case have entered into diversion agreements.
Substantial assistance in this case was provided by the LAPD and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California.
HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 Special Agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.