Chicago police had unearthed a sex racket in June 2018, which had a strong nexus with Tollywood. Telugu couple Kishan Modugumudi and Chandra Modugumudi had been arrested. The duo had then pleaded not guilty to the charges arraigned on them.
But now, the Federal prosecutors are asking for up to 34 years in prison for Kishan Modugumudi. Kishan, who claimed he was a Tollywood producer, had pleaded guilty in February 2020 to running a sex-trafficking racket that lured unsuspecting young female actors from India.
The actresses were physically abused, forced into prostitution, and threatened with public shaming if they complained.
According to court records, Chandra also pleaded guilty to sex trafficking for her role in the scheme.
US District Judge Virginia Kendall heard directly from some of the Modugumudis’ victims. One of the victims, identified as Victim C, told the judge, “We are here, and we are talking against them. We are raising our voices. And we are here to prove that they did something very wrong for which they have to regret until their death.”
On Friday, in the filing, the prosecutors said Kishan was a predator who “preyed on the dreams and hopes of innocent, young, Indian women with dreams of coming to the USA for a bright career.” They have demanded a sentence of between 27-34 years for Kishan Modugumudi.
The reports suggest that both defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on June 24.
According to prosecutors, the couple used to advertise the girls, including minors, for sex at Indian conferences and cultural events across the US. The Modugumudis charged clients up to $3,000 for each sexual meeting, which took place in hotel rooms in Chicago, New Jersey, Dallas, and Washington.
Modugumudi resorted to sexual and physical assault of the victims as well as threats to disclose their identities, which would “result in reputation-destroying shame for the victims and their families in India.
Kishan took nude photos of victims indulged in sexual activities to blackmail them into silence. Actresses suffered continued threats of exposure if they spoke out even after they returned to India.
When federal agents searched the couple’s apartment on West Belden Avenue in February 2018, they recovered ledgers of the sexual acts performed by the girls in detail, including the location and price they collected.
The prosecutors added that the ledgers revealed that the couple had earned almost $617,000 by forcing the victims to perform commercial sexual acts.