Federal Charges Filed Against Two Defendants for Alleged Sex Trafficking of Minors
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 04, 2014|
CHICAGO—A man and a woman who allegedly prostituted two underage girls are facing federal charges filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The defendants, Arnell Chase Misher, 30, and Braundii Young, also known as “Boochie,” 22, both of the 100 block of North Lockwood in Chicago, were charged with conspiring to force a 17-year-old girl and a 13-year-old girl to engage in commercial sex acts during the summer of 2012. The charges were announced today by Robert J. Holley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI, and Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
Misher appeared today and Young appeared yesterday before federal magistrate judges at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, and both remain in custody. Young is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole tomorrow. Misher is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael T. Mason on Monday, March 10, 2014. They were charged in a criminal complaint filed late Friday.
According to the complaint, one of the girls, Minor A, was approached by Misher in June 2012, after she ran away from home. Misher allegedly told the girl she could make money by working for him performing sex acts with strangers and, together with Young, purchased clothing for the girl, styled her hair and instructed Minor A on the rules of working for him. Misher and Young allegedly posted online provocative photographs of Minor A and a telephone number belonging to Young to advertise Minor A’s sex services. Misher also allegedly instructed Minor A to lie to law enforcement about her age and Misher’s true name if she were ever arrested. Minor A worked for Misher and Young for a period of two weeks, during which she engaged in multiple commercial sex acts and turned over all the money she made to the defendants, according to the complaint.
Minor B was allegedly approached by Misher on multiple occasions after running away from home in July 2012, and Misher asked her to work for him performing commercial sex acts. After Minor B repeatedly turned down Misher’s requests, Misher is alleged to have grabbed Minor B, thrown her into his car, and given her pills before dropping her off on the west side of Chicago to start working for him. According to the complaint, Minor B was instructed by Misher and Young about soliciting customers and pricing for performing commercial sex acts. The complaint also alleges that Minor B’s services were advertised in an online posting that used a photograph of another girl who resembled Minor B and listed Young’s telephone number. The complaint further alleges that Minor B worked for the defendants for a period of four to six days and that she turned over all the money she earned to Misher or Young. A short time later, still in July 2012, Minor B allegedly ran away from home again and was approached by Misher, who threatened to beat her and took her to his home, where she was locked in the basement. During the time she was held in the basement, Young allegedly told Minor B that she needed to contribute.
The complaint states that Minor A told both Misher and Young that she was 17 years old at the time she worked for them, that Minor B told Young that she was 14 years old, and that Minor B’s mother told Misher in a telephone conversation that her daughter was only 13 years old (her true age).
The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force. The task force is part of a nationwide effort known as the Innocence Lost National Initiative targeting those involved in the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the United States. In Chicago, the CETF is composed of FBI special agents and officers and investigators from the Chicago Police Department, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. The Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force assisted in the investigation.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum penalty of life in prison.
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.