Home Memphis Press Releases 2013 Millington Man Michael A. Lilley Charged with Sex Trafficking of High School Teens

Millington Man Michael A. Lilley Charged with Sex Trafficking of High School Teens

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 09, 2013
  • Western District of Tennessee (901) 544-4231

MEMPHIS, TN—Michael A. Lilley, 49, of Millington, Tennessee, was charged today in a criminal complaint with sex trafficking of minor girls from as many as three high schools in West Tennessee, announced U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton, III and A. Todd McCall, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to facts revealed in a sworn affidavit filed with the complaint, Lilley was recruiting girls as young as 15 years old to work as prostitutes at his home in Millington. Lilley and another individual would provide alcohol and drugs for the girls, who would hang out at an enclosure in his backyard, referred to as the “back house.”

One of the victims told authorities that Lilley would bring men to his home for the purpose of engaging in prostitution with the girls. The men paid $60 or $75 per session with the girls, and Lilley gave the girls approximately $30 per customer.

Another victim told authorities that she had sex with men at Lilley’s home, at the homes and trailers of men Lilley set her up to meet, and in a van owned by Lilley while parked in parking lots of various restaurants.

The girls were recruited out of various high schools by a minor boy who advised authorities that he had been working for Lilley for six months. He was paid $20 out of every $100 made by the girls. Officials first became aware of Lilley’s actions when one of the girls confided what was going on to the school crisis counselor at one of the high schools. The counselor then reported it to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

“The activities alleged in the sworn affidavit, if proven to be true, are reprehensible,” said U.S. Attorney Stanton. “This office remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners to prosecute and bring to justice anyone who exploits children for profit.”

Lilley is scheduled for a detention hearing on Thursday, September 12, 2013. If convicted, he faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of up to life in prison on each charge.

This case is being investigated by the FBI. Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Laurenzi and Assistant U.S. Attorney Deb Ireland are representing the government.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative of the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab "Resources."

The charges and allegations contained in the criminal complaint and the affidavit are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.