Carrying a temporary visa, she told customs agents she had come to the U. Recently unsealed federal charges india a Chicago couple of Indian descent of running a high-end prostitution ring to lure actresses from Tollywood — a nickname for the lively Telugu-language film scene in southern Celebrity — to the U.
District Court in Chicago. They also met clients in hotels at conferences in Dallas, New Jersey and Washington. The prostitution scheme was allegedly masterminded by Kishan Modugumudi, 34, an Indian prostitution who rose to become a player in the Tollywood movie industry and co-produced several hit films.
The complaint alleged that Modugumudi threatened the life of one of the actresses and her family if she told law enforcement the truth about what she did while in the country. If you try contacting me again, I'll have to make formal complaint. Modugumudi and his wife have been in federal custody since agents arrested them in late April in suburban Washington, D. At a detention hearing last week in federal court in Chicago, the couple, dressed in jail clothes, listened to the proceedings through a Telugu interpreter.
Attorney Molly Armour, who represents Kishan Modugumudi, told the judge she had been trying to find a place for the couple to live so they could be freed on bail but that so far she had been unsuccessful. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez ordered them to remain in custody for the time being.
Armour declined to comment on the case. Attorney Keri Ambrosio, who represents Chandra Modugumudi did not immediately return calls for comment. Founded in the silent-film era in the early s, the Telugu film industry is one of the oldest and busiest in India. Its commercial hub, Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad, holds the Guinness World Record as the largest film studio complex in the world with 47 sound stages.
But Tollywood also has been criticized as a haven for traffickers who use promises of stardom to trap aspiring young actresses in the sex trade. An estimatedwomen and children in India are forced into prostitution every year, many lured by opportunities to model or act in films, according to Reuters. According to a story on Slate.
Meanwhile, Tollywood announced earlier this year it was producing a series of short anti-trafficking films aimed at dissuading young men from buying sex, according to Reuters. Consulate General in Hyderabad, Reuters reported.
The criminal complaint filed against Modugumudi and his wife was unusual because sex crimes charged in federal court typically involve child victims or women sold into sexual slavery, not traditional prostitution. In this case, some of the alleged victims of the scheme appeared less than cooperative when questioned by U. Often, she would send photos of an actress available for a date while negotiating.
In another conversation, an actress working for the prostitution ring, identified as Victim D, texted to Chandra that she had just finished performing oral sex on a client.
Federal prosecutors say a husband and wife team ran a high-end prostitution ring involving young Indian actresses brought to the U. Jose M. Twitter jmetr22b. Mother of slain Chicago teen who was victim of sex trafficking attends White House bill ing ». Man ple guilty to sex trafficking for recruiting teenage girl who was slain weeks later ».
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