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October 26, 2021Los Angeles, CA, United StatesHuman Smuggling/Trafficking

Illinois man sentenced to 15 years in prison for sex trafficking victims deceived with promises of help with their modeling careers

LOS ANGELES – A Chicago man has been sentenced to 180 months in federal prison for luring two victims – both of whom were 19 at the time – from Canada with promises of promoting their modeling careers, but instead used force, fraud and coercion to cause the victims to engage in commercial sex acts.

As the result of a probe by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles, Jerome Terry Jr., 45, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II, who described Terry as “a danger to unsuspecting members of the public” and further remarked that a “lengthy term of incarceration is needed to protect the public.”

Terry pleaded guilty on July 19 to one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking.

Along with two co-conspirators, Terry 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,” according to court documents.

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 coercion to cause the victim to engage in commercial sex acts. The victim engaged in commercial sex acts with four clients over approximately four days until Los Angeles Police officers rescued her.

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 approximately 40 clients over approximately 10 days. When the victim asked Terry about the money, Terry became angry and broke her phone.

Terry has been in federal custody since his extradition from Canada in 2019. Two co-conspirators originally charged with Terry in this case have entered into diversion agreements.

Substantial assistance in this case was provided by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California’s Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes and General Crimes Sections.

HSI is 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.