Pimp convicted of prostituting minors gets 15-year sentence
By KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter August 21, 2013 4:52PM
Updated: September 23, 2013 2:34PM
A pimp who was nabbed at a Skokie hotel was sentenced to 15 years behind bars Wednesday after a 16-year-old girl he sexually exploited tearfully testified, “It’s disgusting to do that to a kid.”
Serial sex offender Eric Shamsud-din, 46, appeared cowed as Federal Judge Amy St. Eve told him he was “dangerous” and had “committed a horrible crime” when he forced the girl and two other women to prostitute themselves on a six-week cross country road-trip.
“You exploited minor girls,” St. Eve told the pimp who went by the street-name “America.”
“I don’t think anyone in the courtroom can totally calculate the harm you did,” the judge added.
Shamsud-din — first convicted of prostituting two underage girls in Oregon in 1991 — was arrested at a Skokie hotel in January 2007.
He eventually pleaded to sex trafficking charges under a plea deal that allowed him to dodge a potential life sentence, and made an overwrought appeal for mercy in court Wednesday, saying he was “embarrassed” and “ashamed” to have exploited kids.
His 16-year-old victim, now 23, bravely took to the stand to testify how she’d become addicted to methamphetamine after Shamsud-din befriended her when she ran away from another pimp in California.
She was left with self-esteem and trust issues after seeing “thousands of guys cheat on their wives,” and lost her child to adoption because of her drug use, she said.
Shamsud-din’s attorney Thomas Gibbons got the victim to admit that she had run away from foster care in Minnesota on her own, and that she’d prostituted herself as a 15-year-old before she met either Shamsud-din or another man who lured her into a relationship, then forced her into the sex trade.
But the victim said she might have got out of prostitution if Shamsud-din hadn’t taken advantage of her when she was homeless.
St. Eve agreed, praising the victim for getting off drugs and turning her life around.
“You have preyed on some of the most vulnerable members of society,” she told Shamsud-din.