Star Staff Reports
MEMPHIS — A 51-year-old Millington man who trafficked multiple underage teens for sex has been sentenced to serve a quarter-century in prison. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the sentencing today.
“Trafficking the bodies of minors for financial gain is reprehensible and will not be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Stanton. “Michael Lilley found this out the hard way. His deplorable actions have earned him a quarter-century sentence in federal prison with no chance of parole.”
According to information presented in court, from May to September 2013, Lilley had four minors engage in commercial sex acts out of his Millington home, backhouse, van, and other locations. The victims were 15-, 16-, and 17-year-old students, some of whom attended Millington-area high schools.
Lilley used text messages and explicit photos of the teens to market them to various males willing to pay for sex. In addition to trafficking the victims out of his residence and vehicle, Lilley transported the juveniles to local restaurants and homes where they would engage in commercial sex acts. Lilley collected the proceeds provided from patrons, splitting them with the victims.
According to court information, the teens were trafficked for as little as $60 per sexual endeavor. Text messages disclosing conversations between Lilley and clients regarding price ranges were displayed in court.
Physical evidence presented during Lilley’s trial in September 2015 included images of both used and unused condoms and condom wrappers throughout his home and vehicle. Trafficking victims testified, recollecting their experiences working for Lilley while underage teens.
On September 22, 2015, a jury found Lilley guilty of four counts of sex trafficking of a minor; one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking; three counts of sexually exploiting a minor; one count of attempting to sexually exploit a minor; three counts of distributing visual depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct; and one count of possessing at least one digital storage device containing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
On Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, Lilley was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr. to 25 years imprisonment. He will also be required to serve 20 years of supervised release.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation Unit.
First Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Laurenzi and Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Ireland prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.