LOS ANGELES — A man pleaded guilty Monday to a federal sex trafficking charge, admitting that he lured young women to Los Angeles and elsewhere with promises of promoting their modeling careers, but instead used force, fraud and/or coercion to cause the victims to engage in commercial sex acts.
Jerome Terry Jr., 45, of Chicago, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II to one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Terry is facing a prison term ranging between seven and 15 years when he is sentenced Oct. 25 in Los Angeles federal court.
Terry admitted that he and two co-conspirators set up a purported modeling management company called CanadianGirlzRock Inc. to lure aspiring models to Los Angeles and other locations with the promise of modeling careers. In fact, Terry “intended and planned to recruit, entice, and transport the women to Los Angeles, or other locations, and to harbor, provide, obtain, and maintain the women to engage in commercial sex acts,” according to the plea agreement.
After seeing social media photos of the first of two victims discussed in the plea agreement, Terry contacted the woman, telling her she could come to Los Angeles to work as a model and event host. After the woman arrived in late April 2014, Terry used force, threats of force, fraud, and/or coercion to cause the victim to engage in commercial sex acts with four clients over about four days until Los Angeles police officers rescued her, according to court papers.
Terry contacted the second woman in late 2014 after seeing photos of her online and told her he would help with her modeling career. He told the victim she would need to perform acts of prostitution to make money to support her modeling career, but that the proceeds would be put toward her modeling or given to her to send to her family.
After the woman traveled to Los Angeles in early 2015, Terry used means of fraud — including false and deceptive promises that he would put money from her prostitution toward her modeling career or make the money available for her to send to her family — to cause her to engage in sex acts with numerous clients over about 10 days. When the victim asked Terry about the money, he became angry and broke her phone, according to the plea agreement.
Terry has been in federal custody since his extradition from Canada in 2019.
Two co-conspirators originally charged with Terry in the case entered into diversion agreements, according to federal prosecutors.