CHICAGO — A federal jury on Thursday convicted a Chicago man on sex trafficking charges for recruiting several children to engage in sex acts for money.
Former City of Chicago tow truck driver, Lennie Perry, 47, was convicted on all seven counts of sex trafficking by the jury in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison, and a maximum of life.
Authorities said Perry trafficked seven minors under the age of 18. One of his victims was under 14 years old when Perry caused her to engage in a commercial sex act. Perry used websites such as Backpage and Facebook to advertise commercial sex acts and recruit the young victims to work for him. Perry also required that each of his victims have sex with him before he would traffic them to others.
Perry arranged for the victims to meet individuals for the commercial sex acts in hotels and the individuals’ homes in Illinois, Minnesota, and Mississippi. Six of Perry’s victims testified at trial about their ordeals.
U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber did not immediately set a sentencing date. A status hearing was scheduled for Jan. 12, 2022, at 9:30 a.m.
Perry is currently serving a 9 year sentence after being found guilty in late 2017/early 2018 on bribery-related charges for using his city-owned truck to extort money from motorists. He had been indicted on the sex trafficking charges the same week he was convicted in the bribery case.
According to Gregory Pratt at the Chicago Tribune, Perry was a pool motor truck driver for the Department of Streets and Sanitation and records showed he made an annual salary of $70,408/year at the time of his arrest. An investigation in that case had revealed that on at least three separate occasions while on duty, Perry solicited bribes of $100 to $150 from victims, officials said.
If you believe you are a victim of sexual exploitation, you are encouraged to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by calling 1-800-843-5678 or logging on to www.cybertipline.com.
Notes & References
Pratt, Gregory. “City Tow Truck Driver Who Offered to Return Vehicles for Cash Sentenced to 9 Years.” chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune, May 23, 2019. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-met-tow-truck-driver-sentenced-20171229-story.html. ↩︎