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 used force, fraud and/or coercion to cause the victims engage in commercial sex acts.
Jerome Terry Jr., 45, of Chicago, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II to one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking.
In a plea agreement, Terry and federal prosecutors have 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,” according to the plea agreement.
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 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 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.
Judge Wright has scheduled a sentencing hearing for October 25.
Two co-conspirators originally charged with Terry in this case have entered into diversion agreements.
This matter was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, with substantial assistance provided by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Assistant United States Attorneys Wilson Park of the Terrorism and Export Crimes Section, Devon Myers of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section, and Maria Jhai of the General Crimes Section are prosecuting this case.