Following his 2018 conviction on federal sex-crime charges, prosecutors say a violent, manipulative Naperville pimp declared, “The streets haven’t seen the last of me.”
Benjamin Biancofiori allegedly made the comment in a message to his daughter, which he asked her to share publicly on Facebook. And, he added, “eventually, I will be back, in a bigger whip, with a badder b----, doing what I do best!”
But Thursday, nearly four years after a jury found Biancofiori guilty of a sex trafficking conspiracy and other crimes, U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber handed Biancofiori a sentence designed to take him off the streets for decades — 30 years in prison.
Still, the sentence left Biancofiori with a smile on his face. Prosecutors wanted him put away for life.
Biancofiori, 41, spent nine years using money, drugs, mind games and vicious beatings to control young, vulnerable victims. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erika Csicsila on Thursday called him one of the most prolific traffickers ever prosecuted in Chicago’s federal court, and she described his conduct as “extraordinary for its depth, its length and its breadth. It is astounding conduct.”
Jurors in 2018 heard Biancofiori acknowledge getting involved in “the oldest profession in history.” He testified and told them that, “Everybody involved in this situation was there because they wanted to be. And both sides, me and them, knew what it involves. They knew the risks, the rewards, everything.”
In a lengthy argument on his own behalf Thursday, Biancofiori said that prosecutors twisted the truth and gave the judge only half of the story. He again said his case involved adult, willing women, and he insisted they were not as traumatized as claimed.
“My convictions do not change the fact that, from minute one, the government has continued to present a distorted narrative to this court,” Biancofiori said.
U.S. Attorney John Lausch was among the many who attended Biancofiori’s sentencing on the 19th floor of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse. Several of Biancofiori’s victims had a chance to speak to the judge during the hearing. One told the judge that Biancofiori “has no shame. No remorse. Absolutely nothing. And for that, he deserves to stay where he is.”
Prosecutors said Biancofiori trafficked “no less than 10 women.” And in court records, they described his reign of terror over the victims in detail.
They said he hit one woman until her face swelled and then bragged about abusing her. They said he pummeled the same woman for screaming for help when he raped her. He beat another woman so badly she lost control of her bladder, they said.
When yet another ran away from Biancofiori, prosecutors say he threatened her, promising to burn her with hot hangers until she was “cryin’ for mercy.”
Yet another once came to her father with two black eyes, shaking with fear and claiming Biancofiori had beaten her, prosecutors said. The father alleged that Biancofiori called him and promised that, when he found the woman, he would cut her face with a knife to make sure nobody ever wanted her, court records show.
That woman died of a heroin overdose a short time after appearing at her father’s house, and prosecutors say she spent her final weeks unresponsive in hospice care, covered in bruises left by Biancofiori.
The feds have pointed to a book Biancofiori wrote, which he claims was a work of fiction. In it, he wrote, “I was a pimp, and pimps don’t put cash in hoes pockets. They put dreams in their heads, d— in their mouth, and a foot in their a–.”
Meanwhile, prosecutors say Biancofiori’s crimes weren’t limited to his sex-crimes conviction. They said that, in 1997, he robbed and beat a teenage boy. The boy told police what happened, they said, but wound up committing suicide after being threatened with retaliation.
The boy’s parents asked a judge for leniency for Biancofiori in what the feds called “an extraordinary act of mercy.”
That case ended with a six-month jail sentence for Biancofiori, prosecutors said.