A Chicago woman is accused of running a multi-state prostitution ring that she allegedly operated from a three-story building described by authorities as the "premier Dungeon of Chicago."
Jessica Nesbitt, 31, generated millions through prostitution services she and her employees provided in Illinois, Washington, D.C., California, Florida, Indiana, Nevada and Wisconsin, a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday alleges.
At an initial hearing, the single mom of a teenage son pleaded not guilty to multiple prostitution-related and financial charges. Her lawyer Barry Sheppard told Judge Maria Valdez that Nesbitt ran a legal fetish business, called Kink Extraordinaires, not a prostitution ring.
“Fetish-based eroticism is not unlawful,” Sheppard said in court, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
But authorities say Kink Extraordinaires employed several individuals who were engaged in prostitution. Investigators have alleged that acts of prostitution took place in a multi-story building in Chicago that Nesbitt and the company operated out of. Nesbitt, using the moniker "Madame Priscilla Belle," is accused of advertising sex services on websites, including backpage.com, according to the Northern District of Illinois’ U.S. Attorney’s Office. Nesbitt is accusing of hosting paid sex and fetish parties with names like "Halloween Mischief” and “Black Tie Bizarre,” according to the indictment.
The Kink Extraordinaires’ website, which appears to be under construction as of Thursday morning, said it offered “play out of a private 5 floor Dungeon with multiple fully equipped themed rooms,” according to the Sun-Times.
Nesbitt’s been charged with seven counts of using interstate commerce to facilitate prostitution, three counts of illegally structuring cash withdrawals to evade financial reporting requirements, one count of conspiracy to use interstate commerce to facilitate prostitution and transport and entice an individual across state lines to engage in prostitution, one count of enticing an individual across state lines to engage in prostitution, and one count of transporting an individual across state lines to engage in prostitution, according to the attorney’s office.
Nesbitt is accused of depositing money into her bank accounts in chunks of under $10,000 through an illegal practice called structuring, a tactic used to avoid currency transaction reporting, according to the Sun-Times.
Valdez released Nesbitt on a $250,000 unsecured bond but warned her she’d be jailed if she did any sex work, including fetish activities Nesbitt considered legal. Valdez told Nesbitt to “find a different line of work,” at least until jurors decide if her work was lawful.
If convicted on all charges, Nesbitt could face decades behind bars. She is the mother of a teenage son.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.