Chicago Man First to be Convicted for Sex Trafficking in Cook County Faces Charges for the Second Time
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez announced the first man to be convicted of sex trafficking charges in Cook County faces trafficking charges for the second time after previously been released on parole. This time, the Chicago man is held without bail, facing federal prison terms for the kidnapping and transporting of a young woman from Minnesota to Chicago, as a recruit in the sex trade.
Myrelle Lockett, 20, was charged with Aggravated Trafficking in Persons, Involuntary Servitude, and Kidnapping after Minnesota woman reported to the police of her kidnapping by the defendant and subsequently escaping.
Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. ordered Myrelle held without bail and described the man as an “imminent danger to every young lady.”
The 18-year-old Minnesota woman was recently kidnapped by Myrelle and his twin brother, Tyrelle Lockett, for sex trade business. Prosecutors reported that Myrelle had made contact with the woman over social media under false pretenses, arranged a meet-up, and traveled to Minnesota with Tyrelle in order to meet with the woman.
Upon encounter, Myrelle expressed his plans of making this woman his “bitch” and bringing her to Chicago. The woman did not agree to his terms but was coerced into joining them as she feared being physically assaulted. The woman was said to be pregnant at the time and decided to “play along” until she found her chance to escape.
On their ride from Minnesota to Chicago, the woman was able to send alert to Minnesota, which helped the police to find her. A police report was filed in Minnesota, and the search for the woman began.
Prosecutors noted that on Saturday, the twin brothers, along with the woman, reached Chicago and had gone to their father’s house around the 4300 blocks of South Berkeley Avenue. It is in this abandoned house that photoshoots in swimsuits and skin-tight dresses happened. It was also reported that women taken into the house were coerced into a “skill test,” wherein the victims are forced to have sex with the twins.
In the middle of the night, the victim found her chance to escape by climbing the locked fence and also managed to call 911. Myrelle was arrested at around 5 a.m. the next day, after being pulled over based on the description given by the woman.
Cook County State’s Attorney’s Human Trafficking Initiative and the Chicago Police Department has brought forward Myrelle, of the South Suburban Dolton, who has previously served a term in prison for sex trafficking. Myrelle has pleaded guilty to the charge in February 2011 and was sentenced to four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. This conviction marked the first indictment under the State’s Attorney’s Human Trafficking Initiative; however, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections stated that Myrelle completed a boot camp program and was subsequently released on parole, about five months later.
Nathan Nicholson, 41, is the father of the twins Myrelle and Tyrelle Lockett, 20, whom he groomed to become pimps in a family sex trade business. Nicholson has a pending conviction for promoting prostitution.
The Human Trafficking Initiative of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office made by the State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez in 2010, has shown to improve the combat of the escalating crime of human trafficking, especially that which involves prostitution. With this initiative, over 79 defendants have been charged and prosecuted by the State’s Attorney’s Office. The Human Trafficking Initiative works in collaboration with the local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, and has also worked closely with non-profit organizations to provide better services to the victims. With the combined efforts from all involved, human trafficking, among other related charges, is being countered effectively by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
“Sex trafficking continues to surface as a very real and alarming crime right here in our communities,” Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said. She further notes that the case shows the continuous threat to young victims because of the abundance of human trafficking cases. State’s Attorney Alvarez says, “this case, in particular, demonstrates the heinous nature of trafficking. Despite the fact that he had a prior conviction, this defendant had the audacity to attempt to continue to victimize other young women.”
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy also expressed his detest of human trafficking and commends the strong partnership and awareness that the department was able to establish, resulting in more efficient arrests and charges. McCarthy notes, “human trafficking is a disturbing offense and one that attacks people’s basic rights. The fact that we were able to arrest and charge this man is the result of quick thinking by the victim, great police-work, and a strong partnership with the State’s Attorney. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to ensure all criminals are held accountable for the crimes they commit.”
With the provided criminal documents containing allegations that are not evidence of guilt, the public is reminded that the defendant shall be presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the state has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Updated: August 6, 2020