A known prostitute and a truck driver are each facing 71 months in prison for taking a 15-year-old girl across state lines and trying to teach her to be a prostitute.
The Morris, IL, Daily Herald reports that 30-year-old Jarrod Sanford from Friendship, TN, was arrested last October along with 22-year-old prostitute Jessica Lidy.
Lidy, who is listed on FreedomNow.org as a human trafficker, met the young girl on Facebook and convinced her to come along with them in Sanford’s truck, promising to take her to Texas with a stop at the Dollywood amusement park along the way. Lidy told the girl that she made money working with her “father” and would split the money with the teen.
According to The Associated Press, police say the girl changed her mind when she realized they were headed to Chicago instead and heard Lidy trying to sell herself to other truckers on the CB. She reportedly asked Sanford to let her go home and he refused.
The teen girl later escaped from the truck at a truck stop in Lincoln, IL, and told truck stop employees she was being held against her will. After an investigation involving the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, the prostitute and trucker were arrested.
According to the U.S. Attorneys’ press release, the case was pursued as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative started in 2006 by the U.S. Department of Justice. This case was investigated by the FBI, Lincoln Police Department, Illinois State Police and assisted by the Logan County Sheriff's Office.
The pair pleaded guilty in December and received their sentences this week.