Indian couple from Chicago plead not guilty to sex trafficking

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An Indian couple residing in Chicago indicted for running an alleged prostitution ring, pleaded not guilty July 18.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Kishan Modugumudi, 34, and his wife, Chandra Kala Purnima Modugumudi, 31, pleaded not guilty to charges that they ran a prostitution ring that brought Indian actresses from Tollywood to the U.S. promising them a career but instead used them “to perform sexual acts at Indian conferences and cultural events across the country.”

An April 28, arrest warrant for Kishan Modugumudi, available on the Web, shows he also went by the name of Sreeraj Chonnuppati and Raju. The warrant gives as reason for the arrest, “Importation of aliens for purposes of prostitution in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1328.”

Both Kishan and Chandra Modugumudi were indicted on nine counts of prostitution that involved six victims. If convicted, they face up to ten years in prison.  The wife, Chandra Modugumudi is also charged with forging immigration documents, the Tribune reported.

They were arrested April 28, and remanded in custody without bail in Washington, D.C.

On July 18, they were presented before U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall in Chicago’s federal courthouse, where they pleaded not guilty, through an interpreter, according to the Tribune,.

Federal authorities have filed a 42-page criminal complaint against the two accusing them of bringing the young women from India on temporary visas, housing them in a low-rise building in Chicago’s Belmont Cragin neighborhood the news report said.

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