United States v. Wearing, No. 16-3312 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Hoping to earn money as a pimp, Wearing recruited a 15‐year‐old acquaintance, KV, to work as a prostitute. He posted a Craigslist ad with her photo, took her to a hotel where he had her “audition” on him, and twice tried to arrange meetings with clients. Both assignations fell through. KV then had second thoughts and alerted her mother, who called the authorities. Wearing was convicted of violating 18 U.S.C. 1591, which makes sex trafficking of children a federal crime if done “in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce.” The court sentenced him to 180 months’ imprisonment, well below the guidelines range of 324 to 405 months. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, rejecting Wearing’s arguments that the government failed to prove that KV had engaged in a “commercial sex act,” and that his recruitment of the victim (as opposed to the scheme as a whole) affected commerce. The statute requires that the defendant recruit the victim knowing her current age and knowing his plan to prostitute her after the recruitment. Nothing in the statute indicates that the plan must be fully carried out before conviction is possible. Wearing stipulated that the Craigslist advertisement—an integral part of his scheme—affected interstate commerce.