Tuesday, October 06, 2015

CREEP: Boystown Sex Trafficker Reaches Plea Deal

A 19-year-old Iowa man who faced 47 charges for sex trafficking and kidnaping after he allegedly drove two teenage girls to a Boystown hotel and then forced them to work as prostitutes reached a plea deal Monday.

In January, prosecutors said Ferid Mahalbasic drove the girls—ages 17 and 18—from Waterloo, Iowa, to a hotel near the Belmont Red Line station where he then forced them to perform sex acts with men for money.

Mahalbasic threatened to expose the victims’ sexual activities on social media if they did not comply with his demands, prosecutors said.

Yesterday, Mahalbasic pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary sexual servitude of a minor and one count of trafficking for labor/recruits. He was given 54-month sentences for each count to be served concurrently.

Forty-five other charges were dropped in exchange for his plea:
• 13 counts of various forms of involuntary servitude
• 6 counts of various forms of sex servitude
• 3 counts of aggravated trafficking/recruiting
• 6 counts of trafficking for labor
• 3 counts of promoting juvenile prostitution
• 1 count of juvenile prostitution for profit
• 6 counts of various forms of kidnapping
• 7 counts of promoting prostitution
Image: Cook County Sheriff's Office intake photo of Mahalbasic
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  1. So
    - charged with 47 ugly crimes
    - pleads guilty to 2
    - serves 1
    On paper, he's in for 54 months. That means he'll likely serve 27 max. About 810 days. Divided by 47 crimes gets you 17 1/4 days per crime.
    Wow. 17 1/4 days per crime, when those crimes involve sex trafficking and kidnapping of minors.

  2. So 54 months for kidnapping? Who was the prosecutor and judge? I think we need to let the judge know how we feel and vote him out.

  3. Seems like a rather light sentence considering it involved kidnapping and servitude of minors.

  4. This Creep should be doing 20 Years HARD LABOR!
    54 Months is an insult to common sense.

  5. This guy looks like a complete creeper. 54 months? What are the odds of him doing no more than 18-20?

  6. What's with the big silver zit in the middle of his philtrum? Usually sufferers of that disease have two silver zits below their lower lip, letting everyone know about their lack of taste and employability.

  7. Isn't transporting a minor across state lines a FEDERAL offense? Can't wait for a federal prosecutor to get their hands on him.

    1. Great point Kevin. The Feds usually go for more than 17 days per crime.
      But nothing was said about felonies. Is it possible that the plea deal 'wrapped up' the whole case under state charges?.

  8. I have the feeling that if it were 17 and 18 year old boys the plea deal would have been for more time.

  9. This blog is turning me into a law and order republican. My only urge is to jail and throw away the key for all the disgusting scum bags.

  10. You gotta love Cook County judges. I think the plan is to give us so many things to be outraged about that we can't focus on any one thing for long enough to actually do anything about it.

  11. He looks like a cross between a carney and fright house Halloween worker. Another nomination for CWB's mug shot hall of fame.

  12. 45 other charges were dropped? God bless the Crook County judicial system. Remember to keep voting these judges back to the bench. I give this guy about 12 months and he will be out on parole.

  13. The prosecutors so anxious for a plea deal they forget about the severity of the crimes and justice for the victims. As long as prosecutors and judges are willing to drop over 40 charges in order to get a plea then more cops on the street picking up more criminals will just be more given a deal and let back out in quick order. The crime problem can't be fixed without stopping lenient deals that insult both the victims and the citizens of the city and state.

  14. Odds are the deal is based on him providing information towards a bigger target; that's usually the case with sex trafficking and child porn cases and the like. These kinds of criminals rarely work alone and usually work with or report to people higher up the ladder causing a lot more damage. For better or for worse, these kinds of deals are a tried & true tactic to take down people the authorities wouldn't have had much of a chance of snagging otherwise. It really has little to do with the politics of the judge.

    PS: The repeated complaints about the judges being "too easy" on criminals, like they're doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, are pretty tiresome. The last couple times I've tried to explain this sentiment in seemingly lead to comment not being approved, but the reality is that Illinois jails are some of the most overcrowded in the country; the entire state justice system is overtaxed due to things like mandatory minimums and drug charges. The national news yesterday of more than 6,000 non-violent drug offenders being released (and then more than 8,000 more by this time next year) is a small step in the right direction. States like Illinois can't properly prosecute and imprison the type of repeat offenders we see on this site so long as they have too keep wasting time, money and space on drug offenders being over-sentenced. The actions of judges in cases like the ones reported here have little to do with them being too altruistic or "bleeding heart;" they simply have to set them up for the revolving door because there's no other option right now.

    1. Your comments were published. We even responded to at least one of them and others responded, too.

      In short, judges don't report to the state prison system. They mete out justice according to the law and the state incarcerates as sentenced. At least that's the way it works in 49 other states. This "oh, those poor judges" line is BS.

    2. I hate this commenter who keeps defending the lenient judges...must be an employee or relative of a bad judge.

    3. Nowhere did I say anything like "oh, those poor judges;" the judges don't function in a vacuum. Obviously they don't work for the prison system, but they'd have to be completely blind and deaf to not know how overcrowded the prisons are. They know which types of crimes are "supposed" to be sentenced tougher than others and they known the prisons simply can't handle the crush of locking more people up long term for the types of crimes typically reported here.

      And this ISN'T working in the other 49 states; Illinois is hardly alone in dealing with overcrowded prisons and an under-resourced prison system. It's a national problem. One of the very reasons this blog has taken off like it has is people rightly raising hell over how the city is shortchanging them when it comes to police protection, but then at the same time those seem people seem to be willfully ignorant as to how overtaxed the Illinois prison system is. We're looking at very similar problems on both ends.

      Look at it this way: does it seem more realistic that most of these types of sentences are a result of the widely reported resource problems with the Illinois justice and prison system, or that they're the result of a a bunch of judges inexplicably deciding that scores of people are just misunderstood and deserve light or relatively light sentences? The latter is the result of angry people desperately wanting this to be an explicitly partisan issue; it's much easier to blame the bogeyman of "soft judges" than to face the hard reality of how profoundly broken Illinois and Chicago are when it comes to being to deal with issues like this. I moved away from the city myself to another state over 6 months ago because of the crime and mess with the city and the state's politics and finances. People are free to vote in and out whatever judge they want; it would have next to no impact on the type of sentencing they see until bigger reforms happen with the drugs laws and sentencing to relieve the pressure on the state's overburdened justice and prison systems.

  15. Or look at it this way: Illinois' prisons currently house around 47,000 inmates. That is, actually, the lowest it's been in about 5 years. The problem, however, is that the system is actually designed for an inmate capacity of 32,000. That's why you see so many people receive sentences that basically seem designed to cycle them out in short order. Saying that this doesn't impact sentencing because the judges don't answer to the prison system is like saying city budget cuts don't impact police performance because they don't answer to the State Comptroller. All of these problems are deeply tied together, and simply ignoring part of them doesn't accomplish anything. Pointing this out isn't looking for sympathy for the judges; I'm simply pointing out why this is happening instead of stamping my feet and pouting about "bad judges."