Man, 20, charged with sex trafficking for 2nd time in Cook Co. - New York News

Man, 20, charged with sex trafficking for 2nd time in Cook County

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Myrelle Lockett, 20. (Photo courtesy of Cook County Sheriff's Office) Myrelle Lockett, 20. (Photo courtesy of Cook County Sheriff's Office)
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A man previously convicted of sex trafficking in Cook County has been charged again, this time for allegedly kidnapping a Minnesota woman and bringing her to Chicago to work in the sex trade.

Myrelle Lockett, 20, is being held without bond charged with aggravated trafficking, involuntary servitude and kidnapping.

He was arrested early Sunday morning near 43rd and Drexel as he returned from a food run to the house, where prosecutors said his father lived, and where Lockett he had taken his 18-year-old victim.

But while Lockett was gone, the woman escaped, climbed a locked fence and ran to a nearby pay phone where she called police.

Investigators said Lockett met the woman through social media and traveled to Minnesota to meet her.

"From what we can tell, maybe for dating purposes, but they, the defendant had other ideas, and forced her to come back to Chicago with him for the purposes of getting into this life, and for pimping her out," Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez says.

Prosecutors said this case spotlights the continued problem in Cook County with human trafficking. The victims are so often young and vulnerable.

In this case, the Minnesota woman was able to get word to police back home, who notified Chicago police of the kidnapping.

"She was able to send some text messages back home and let the people at home know she was being taken against her will," Alvarez says.

A woman at the home where the kidnap victim was held claimed nothing happened there and Lockett did not live there. Prosecutors said this case should serve as a warning to women to be careful who they meet on line.

"You can fall prey to people like this who are out there with no good intentions and who clearly don't want to meet you just to date you or just to meet you," Alvarez says. "But clearly have other things in mind and this is a good example."

Lockett and his twin brother Tyrelle were sentenced to four years in prison in February 2011 after pleading guilty to sex trafficking. Their convictions were the first under the state's Human Trafficking Initiative, created in 2010, according to prosecutors.

Lockett's father, Nathan Nicholson, also has a pending indictment for promoting prostitution, according to prosecutors.

An undercover operation in 2011 found the brothers were forcing young women, including one underage girl, to perform sex acts with men for money, the state's attorney's office said at the time. Cook County Sheriff's officers met with Lockett at a Lansing motel after responding to an online ad, and arrested the men.

"Sex trafficking continues to surface as a very real and alarming crime right here in our own communities," state's attorney Anita Alvarez said in the statement.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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