CHICAGO - The woman known as Madame Priscilla Belle was back in federal court Wednesday for her first appearance since being charged with running a massive prostitution racket.
31-year-old Jessica Nesbitt walked into the Dirksen Federal Building in business attire. However, the feds say her real business is the world's oldest business, charging her last month with seven counts of using interstate commerce to facilitate prostitution.
The indictment alleges Nesbitt, also known as Madame Priscilla Bell, operated a company called Kink Extraordinairees out of her home in the 2400 block of Augusta Boulevard in the West Town neighborhood.
The feds say Nesbitt employed several people who engaged in prostitution, at times sending them all over the country to perform sex acts, and advertised their services on underground and sex websites.
However, Nesbitt's attorneys said her business legally catered to fulfilling people's fetishes, not hardcore sex.
It was revealed in court that she has a client base of about 9,000 customers, mostly in the Chicago area.
Nesbitt's lawyers say she wants to email those clients to tell them the business is closed, but the judge overseeing the case says the court must supervise that email blast because it could go to potential witnesses in the case.
The judge gave both sides two months to go over the entire discovery in the case, which he calls "voluminous."
In the meantime. Nesbitt's attorney says she's continuing to look for employment.
Both sides will be back in court on Dec. 12.