Crime & Courts

Chicago man get 30 years for suburban sex trafficking

A Chicago man was sentenced May 13 to 30 years in federal prison for the sex trafficking of women and children throughout the suburbs, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District of Illinois.

Charles Fears, 28, operated a sex trafficking business from 2012 to 2014 with co-defendant Samuel Nichols, 37, of Chicago, in which the pair coerced multiple people, including minors, into committing sex acts for profit, according to a news release.

Authorities said victims were given drugs and alcohol and often physically abused. Some were as young as 13 years old.

Fears and Nichols often flaunted their trafficking profits on social media and, according to authorities, used trafficking proceeds to fund a Chicago-area rap group that posted music videos online.

Fears pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and sex trafficking charges in 2018.

A judge ordered that Fears pay more than $1.6 million in restitution to the victims, authorities said. After serving his sentence, Fears will be under court supervision for life.

Nichols was sentenced to life in prison in 2019.

Police departments from Carol Stream and Downers Grove and the DuPage County sheriff’s office were involved in the case.

“Fears and Nichols controlled their victims physically and psychologically,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah Streicker, Michelle Petersen and Elizabeth Pozolo said in the release. “It is nearly impossible to comprehend the trauma Fears inflicted on his victims.”