Chicago woman charged in alleged US prostitution ring

CHICAGO — A 31-year-old who prosecutors say went by "Madame Priscilla Belle" is accused of running a multistate prostitution business from a three-story Chicago building that functioned like a brothel.

A federal indictment unsealed Wednesday says Jessica Nesbitt generated millions through prostitution services she and her employees provided in Illinois, Washington, D.C., California, Florida, Indiana, Nevada and Wisconsin.

At an initial hearing in Chicago, the single mom pleaded not guilty to multiple prostitution-related charges. Defense lawyer Barry Sheppard told Judge Maria Valdez Nesbitt ran a legal fetish business, called Kink Extraordinaires, not a prostitution ring.

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.

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