CHICAGO — A Chicago father and his twin boys have been sentenced to federal prison terms for recruiting vulnerable minors to engage in sex acts for money, the Northern Illinois FBI branch reports.
Their scheme that landed the twins with 17-year sentences in federal prison started in Chicago area malls.
"Nathan Nicholson groomed his sons to become pimps in a family sex trafficking operation. Nicholson used the twins, Tyrelle Lockett and Myrelle Lockett, to recruit minor girls from Chicago-area malls by promising them money for going on dates," the FBI report says.
Once the girls expressed interest, Nicholson brought them to an abandoned house, photographed them partially clothed, and then “tested” them by requiring them to have sex with the twins. Soon thereafter Nicholson and his sons caused the girls to perform commercial sex acts for money, with Nicholson keeping the proceeds.
The twins also recruited their own girls and young women, and expanded their prostitution business by finding victims outside of Chicago. The brothers traveled to Indiana several times to bring victims, including minors, to Chicago to work for them. The twins forcibly brought one woman from Minnesota to Nicholson’s home in Chicago, but she managed to escape and call the police.
Nicholson, 45, of Chicago, pleaded guilty last year to one count of sex trafficking of a minor. U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow on Tuesday sentenced Nicholson to 16 years and eight months, and ordered him to pay $68,400 to two victims.
Tyrelle Lockett, 24, of Chicago Heights, and Myrelle Lockett, 24, of Chicago Heights, each pleaded guilty last year to one count of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in prostitution. Judge Lefkow last Wednesday sentenced Tyrelle Lockett to 17 years and eight months, and ordered him to pay $9,050 to three victims. Judge Lefkow on Thursday sentenced Myrelle Lockett to 17 years and eight months, and ordered him to pay $75,600 to one victim.
The sentencings were announced by Joel R. Levin, Acting 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; and Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart. Valuable assistance was provided by the Indianapolis Office of the FBI, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force, Chicago Police Department, Alsip Police Department, Dolton Police Department, Calumet Park Police Department, Lansing Police Department, Muncie, Ind., Police Department, and Rochester, Minn., Police Department.
Four of the defendants’ victims testified at the sentencing hearings. They described their ordeals of how the defendants coerced them into prostitution.
“The length and breadth of defendant’s conduct, which was driven by his greed and perverse sexual desires, affected numerous victims, inflicted violence on others, and sexually exploited minors and otherwise vulnerable victims,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Renai S. Rodney and Shoba Pillay argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum in Tyrelle Lockett’s case. “The ripple effects of his conduct will be felt for years to come.”