A North Chicago gang member has been sentenced by a federal judge to more than 27 years in prison for sex trafficking and abusing a 15-year-old girl from Indiana.
Deronarte Norwood, 32, of North Chicago, was arrested in October 2016 in Waukegan and charged with sex trafficking and knowingly transporting a minor to engage in prostitution. Authorities said that he is a member of the Black P. Stone Nation gang.
Norwood has remained in custody since and was convicted by a federal jury in Chicago last year. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman sentenced him to 330 months in prison, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John R. Lausch, Jr. said.
Prosecutors said that Norwood physically and emotionally harmed a 15-year-old girl, who is from Indiana, after meeting her in 2015 at a gas station in Indianapolis. He took her to Wisconsin and Northern Illinois for prostitution, prosecutors added.
Norwood exploited the girl in graphic online advertisements offering sex and then sent her to have sex with strangers, leaving her alone in hotel rooms, prosecutors said. Norwood would then pocket all of the money she made.
“Defendant is among those criminals who destroy the lives of our communities’ most precious resource – children,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicole M. Kim and Abigail Peluso argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “Defendant was a predator who targeted, assaulted, and repeatedly exploited [the victim].”
Federal authorities said that the Lake County Special Investigations Group, Winthrop Harbor Police Department and New Albany, Indiana Police Department provided substantial assistance in the investigation.
Anyone who is a victim of sexual exploitation or knows of someone who is can report it 24 hours a day to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678.