EAST ST LOUIS - A former resident of East St. Louis, Illinois, was sentenced Thursday by United States District Court Judge Staci M. Yandle to 360 months in federal prison for one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of children by force, fraud, and coercion and three counts of child sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion.
The sentences for Michael Johnson are to run concurrently with each other and with another federal sentence he is already serving. Judge Yandle also sentenced Johnson to five years of supervised release to follow the imprisonment and a $400 special assessment fee.
Facts revealed in open court at the sentencing and plea hearings established that from about late 2009 or early 2010, Johnson and another recruited four girls under the age of 18 on chat lines, online, or simply walking down the street. Using actual physical violence or fear of violence, lies, and mental manipulation, Johnson made the girls have sex with men for money, which he kept. Johnson knew or recklessly disregarded the fact that the girls were under the age of 18 at the time, the FBI reported in a press release.