East St. Louis Man Indicted for Child Sex Trafficking
The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today, that a federal Grand Jury returned a four-count indictment charging a local man with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a child and three counts of child sex trafficking.
Michael Johnson, also known as “Daddy Tru,” and “Tru,” 38, of East St. Louis, Illinois, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a child by force, fraud, and coercion, and on three counts of sex trafficking of a child by force, fraud, and coercion.
An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Division, and members of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, Fairview Heights. Assistant United States Attorney Monica A. Stump is prosecuting the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.