Nathan Nicholson (left) Myrelle Lockett | Cook County sheriff's Office
CHICAGO (SUN TIMES MEDIA WIRE) - A man and his twin sons have been sentenced to federal prison for recruiting and trafficking minors for sex in the Chicago area.
Nathan Nicholson, 45, groomed his twin sons, Tyrelle and Myrelle Lockett, to act as pimps in a family sex trafficking operation, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Nicholson used his sons to recruit young girls from area malls by promising them money to go on dates.
When the girls expressed interest, Nicholson took them to an abandoned house, took pictures of them partially clothed, and made them have sex with the twins as a “test,” prosecutors said. Nicholson and his sons then forced them to perform sex acts for money, and Nicholson kept the proceeds.
The twins expanded the prostitution business by recruiting young women and girls from outside the Chicago area, federal prosecutors said. They brought women and minors from Indiana to Chicago to force them to work as prostitutes.
They also brought one woman from Minnesota to Nicholson’s Chicago home, but she managed to escape and call police, prosecutors said.
The investigation started in May 2010 when Tyrelle Lockett, 17 at the time, was arrested outside a south suburban hotel when undercover Cook County sheriff’s police officers answered online ads from women offering sex for money, according to the sheriff’s office. Further investigation revealed he and his brother had trafficked multiple girls; and Mryelle Lockett was also charged.
Nicholson pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking of a minor last year, according to prosecutors. U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow sentenced him on Tuesday to 16 years and eight months in federal prison, and ordered him to pay $68,400 to two victims.
Tyrelle and Myrelle Lockett, both 24-year-old Chicago Heights residents, each pleaded guilty last year to one count of transportation of a minor to engage in prostitution, prosecutors said. In a hearing before Lefkow on Wednesday, the twins were sentenced to 17 years and eight months in prison each. Tyrelle Lockett was ordered to pay $9,050 to three victims; and Myrelle Lockett must pay $75,600 to one victim.
The twins were convicted in 2011 and served time in prison, the sheriff’s office said. Nicholson was charged with promoting prostitution in December 2012 and was convicted and given probation and community service in October 2013. They continued the prostitution ring after their state convictions, which led to the federal indictments and sentencing this week.