Mid-South Sex-Ring Reaction: "Sin, Sin, Sin"

Mid-South Sex-Ring Reaction: "Sin, Sin, Sin"

No longer just a big city crime, residents in several small Mid-South towns says they can't believe a sex-trafficking ring was operating in their neighborhoods. One local expert called it one of the most complex sex-trafficking rings she's seen in the Mid-South.
Millington, TN (localmemphis.com)-- No longer just a big city crime, residents in several small Mid-South towns say they can't believe a sex-trafficking ring was operating in their neighborhoods. One local expert called it one of the most complex sex-trafficking rings she's seen in the Mid-South.

"Sin sin sin, it's so much of it now," said Linda Lavelle of Munford. "Morals have gone in the United States. They have gone."

According to federal prosecutors, Michael Lilley, 49, lured girls, some as young as 15, to work as prostitutes. According to the complaint, the girls were students in Munford, and at Brighton High School and Millington Central High School

Lilley's criminal complaint states he used a 17-year-old student to recruit the girls, with that student telling investigators, "He used his charm with teenage girls in an effort to convince them to work for Lilley."

The girls were paid around $30 an encounter.

"It is a terrible thing, he should be hung up by his thumbs, publicly displayed," said Jeff Bartram. "You hear about it every day, it just keeps getting closer and closer to home. They said you can't run from it, you can move to Brighton if you want, it follows you wherever you go."

"It is anywhere," said Rachel Sumner, who runs Restore Corps, an organization that works with victims of sex-trafficking. "People are talking about it, and one of the biggest ways to fight any injustice is for people to speak up."

Even so, this crime is not sitting well with locals.

 "Kinda shocked because both of these are real good schools, said Munford resident Terry Ryan, “I think it is pathetic that that has to happen to those young girls. I think it is pathetic."

 Tuesday night, Lilley remained in the Bartlett jail. He's scheduled to appear for a detention hearing in federal court on Thursday.

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