CHICAGO (STMW) — A man previously convicted of sex trafficking in Cook County has been charged again, this time for allegedly kidnapping a Minnesota woman and bringing her to Chicago to work in the sex trade.
Myrelle Lockett, 20, is charged with felony counts of aggravated trafficking in persons, involuntary servitude and kidnapping, according to a statement from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
Lockett recently made contact with an 18-year-old Minnesota woman over social media, prosecutors allege. He then traveled to Minnesota with his twin brother, met the woman and told her he was taking her to Chicago to be his “bitch,” according to prosecutors.
The woman told Lockett she did not want to work as a prostitute, but he insisted and she said she feared being physically assaulted, prosecutors allege.
On the way to Chicago, the woman sent text messages to Minnesota that she was being taken against her will and police began searching for her. When the brothers reached Chicago on Saturday, they brought her to their father’s home on the South Side and kept her under watch, prosecutors allege.
The woman managed to escape in the middle of the night and called 911, the statement said. Chicago Police officers took Lockett into custody near East 43rd Street and Drexel Boulevard. He is being held without bond.
Lockett and his twin brother Tyrelle were sentenced to four years in prison in February 2011 after pleading guilty to sex trafficking. Their convictions were the first under the state’s Human Trafficking Initiative, created in 2010, according to prosecutors.
Lockett’s father, Nathan Nicholson, also has a pending indictment for promoting prostitution, according to prosecutors.
An undercover operation in 2011 found the brothers were forcing young women, including one underage girl, to perform sex acts with men for money, the state’s attorney’s office said at the time. Cook County Sheriff’s officers met with Lockett at a Lansing motel after responding to an online ad, and arrested the men.
“Sex trafficking continues to surface as a very real and alarming crime right here in our own communities,” state’s attorney Anita Alvarez said in the statement.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)