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Press Release

Chicago Man Charged with Sex Trafficking for Recruiting Minors to Engage in Sex Acts

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO — A Chicago man was arrested today on federal sex trafficking charges for allegedly using Facebook to recruit minors to participate in sex acts with him and others.

BRYAN OSBORNE, 27, posed as a woman named “Lonyae Johnson” to communicate via Facebook with more than 2,000 individuals, many of them minors, according to a criminal complaint and affidavit filed in federal court in Chicago. Osborne, as Johnson, enticed several children to agree to appear in films depicting child pornography, on the promise that they would be paid thousands of dollars, the complaint states. Osborne, however, told the minors that they would first need to have sex with a producer named “Trey,” purportedly so that Trey could make sure the minors were suitable for filming, according to the charges.

Several of the minors agreed to the arrangement and met with Trey, who turned out to be Osborne, the complaint states. Osborne, posing as Trey, engaged in sex acts with the minors inside and outside of a building in the Austin neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side, according to the complaint. He later fabricated various reasons for why the minors would not be paid, the complaint states.

The complaint charges Osborne with one count of sex trafficking and one count of enticing a minor to engage in a sex act. He appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael T. Mason and was ordered to remain in federal custody. A detention hearing was scheduled for Feb. 16, 2017, at 9:00 a.m.

The complaint was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Eddie Johnson, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Superintendent; James D. Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division; and Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Investigations Bureau provided valuable assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bethany Biesenthal, Michelle Petersen and Rebekah Holman.

According to the charges, Osborne used the Facebook handle “lonyae.gotafattie” to pose as Johnson. Osborne told some of the minors that they could be paid larger sums if they referred even younger children to Osborne for participation in child pornography, the complaint states. Osborne also enticed some minors on Facebook to engage in prostitution with other individuals he had recruited, according to the complaint.

The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Each count is punishable by a statutory minimum sentence of ten years in prison, and a maximum of life. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

If you believe you are a victim of sexual exploitation, you are encouraged to call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Updated February 9, 2017

Violent Crime