Skip to main content
Press Release

Milwaukee Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Federal Prison for Sex Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Wisconsin

Gregory J. Haanstad, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that Terrell Shankle, a/k/a “King Relly” (age 40), of Milwaukee was sentenced yesterday to 25 years in prison and 5 years supervised release for sex trafficking crimes. Shankle was found guilty after a federal jury trial on September 6, 2017, of five counts of sex trafficking a minor and sex trafficking a person using force, fraud, or coercion, and one count of conspiracy to transport a minor across state lines to engage in prostitution.

The evidence presented at trial established that Shankle was a violent sex trafficker who, between September 2006 and May 2012, used force, fraud, and coercion to cause a number of minor and adult female victims to engage in prostitution. Victims of Shankle’s sex trafficking testified that he recruited girls as young as 16 years old to engage in prostitution with false promises of money and a better life. He then used physical violence and threats of violence to force them to engage in prostitution in Milwaukee and Chicago for his profit. Shankle even had some of his victims get tattoos of his name to signify his ownership of them.

One victim testified that Shankle beat her nearly every day for three years starting when she was 16 years old. On one occasion, he struck her repeatedly in her face with his “pimp cane,” and he beat her again for seeking medical treatment for the resulting injuries. Shankle often told this victim that he would kill her family if she tried to leave him. Another victim testified that Shankle pressed the barrel of a pistol against her head because he believed she withheld money from him. This victim also saw Shankle fire a gun at another victim’s feet after she purportedly disobeyed him.

United States Attorney Haanstad stated that “Sex traffickers prey upon some of the most vulnerable members of society, subjecting victims to extraordinary levels of violence and brutality to force them to engage in commercial sex acts.  This prosecution is the result of an outstanding joint investigation on the part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Milwaukee Police Department.  The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to work with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to vindicate the rights of sex trafficking victims and to protect citizens from these violent and predatory offenses.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Benjamin W. Proctor and Erica J. Lounsberry.


#  #  #  #  #

For additional information contact:

Public Information Officer Dean Puschnig, 414-297-1700

Updated February 21, 2018