Prosecutors search life imprisonment for Tollywood filmmaker accused of intercourse trafficking


Federal prosecutors are in search of as much as 34 years in jail for a former Indian filmmaker who pleaded responsible to operating a Chicago-based sex-trafficking ring that lured an unacquainted younger actress from her house nation to the US, the place officers mentioned that they have been compelled into prostitution, bodily abuse and threatened to publicly shaming them in the event that they complained.

Kishan Modugumudi, 42, was convicted in February 2020 in a intercourse trafficking case associated to a sufferer. Courtroom data present that his spouse, Chandra, 35, additionally pleaded responsible to intercourse trafficking for her function within the scheme.

U.S. District Decide Virginia Kendall later held an in-camera listening to, the place she heard instantly from a few of Modugumudi’s victims, together with an actress who testified to the couple that none of them have been “to talk towards them.” Is not going to present up for it,” prosecutors revealed in a court docket submitting Friday.

Based on the prosecution submitting, “However sure, right here we’re,” the lady, recognized solely as sufferer C, advised the choose. “Ladies, we’re right here, and we’re talking towards them. We’re elevating our voice. And we’re displaying that they’ve achieved one thing unsuitable of their life. They need to repent until their demise.”

Searching for a sentence of 27 to 34 years for Kishan Modugumudi, prosecutors mentioned within the submitting that he was a stalker who “hunted down the hopes and goals of younger, harmless Indian girls who wished to come back to america and pursue their careers.” dreamed of pursuing it.”

In a separate submitting on Friday, prosecutors requested Kendall to condemn Chandra Modugumudi to as much as 27 years in jail.

Each the convicts will likely be sentenced on June 24.

In July 2018, a Tribune report detailing the allegations towards the couple brought on a serious stir in Tollywood, a nickname for the colourful Telugu-language movie scene in South India, the place Kishan Modugumudi labored as a producer. and located his alleged victims.

Based on federal prosecutors, Modugumudi took the actresses to Chicago with the promise of being searched. As soon as right here on short-term visas, nonetheless, the actresses have been handled like intercourse slaves, compelled to stay in a two-story residence constructing in Chicago’s Belmont Craggins neighborhood, ready for his or her subsequent “date”. have been doing, the allegations alleged.

Modugumudis marketed women, some as younger as 16, for intercourse at Indian conventions and cultural occasions throughout the nation. Based on prosecutors, the couple charged shoppers as much as $3,000 for every sexual encounter that befell in resort rooms in Chicago, Dallas, New Jersey, Washington and elsewhere.

To proceed with the scheme, Modugumudi resorted to bodily and sexual harassment of the victims in addition to threats to disclose their names, leading to “profession ending and reputation-destroying penalties for the victims and their households in India.” could be a humiliation,” Assistant U.S. Lawyer Maureen Merrin wrote.

Based on Merin, they weren’t empty threats. Kishan Modugumudi took obscene photos of some victims and silenced them to blackmail them. Merin wrote that the actresses who have been deported again to India confronted fixed danger in the event that they spoke up.

One of many actresses, who was 17 on the time, refused to have interaction in business intercourse acts, prompting Kishan Modugumudi to textual content his spouse, “Is she grumbling?”

Based on prosecution filings, Chandra Modugumudi replied, “I threatened to kill him if I mentioned something.”

Her husband despatched the message again: “Inform her that you’ll inform her mom if she causes any bother.”

Even after being arrested and caught with out bond, Kishan Modugumudi tried to reveal details about the victims “to realize sympathy within the Indian media and to make good on their threats to destroy the lives of their victims.” For in the event that they dared to talk towards him and his spouse,” mentioned Merin.

Based on prosecutors, investigators have been in a position to cease the try after intercepting an electronic mail despatched to an Indian reporter from the Metropolitan Correctional Middle in Chicago.

Earlier than his arrest, Kishan Modugumudi had turn out to be a participant within the Tollywood movie trade and had co-produced a number of hit movies.

Established within the silent-film period within the early 1900s, the Telugu movie trade is without doubt one of the oldest and busiest in India. Its business centre, Ramoji Movie Metropolis in Hyderabad, holds the Guinness World File as the most important movie studio advanced on the planet with 47 sound phases.

However Tollywood has additionally been criticized as a haven for traffickers who use guarantees of stardom to entice aspiring younger actresses within the intercourse commerce. Based on Reuters, an estimated 200,000 girls and kids in India are compelled into prostitution yearly, a lot of whom are lured into modeling or performing in movies.

When federal brokers searched Modugumudis’ residence within the 5700 block of West Belden Avenue in February 2018, they discovered detailed descriptions of the sexual acts dedicated by every woman, together with the place they occurred and the way a lot they collected, in line with prosecutors.

Prosecutors mentioned bookkeeping reveals the couple charged victims at the very least $617,000 for partaking in business intercourse acts.

jmeisner@chicagotribune.com



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