A Chicago pimp who scoured West Side neighborhoods for girls and women he forced into prostitution was sentenced to 50 years in prison Thursday, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
The sentence U.S. District Court Judge Charles Kocoras handed down to Datqunn Sawyer was believed to be the stiffest ever for a convicted sex trafficker in federal court in Chicago.
Last November, a jury found Sawyer, then 32, guilty on all counts, including 10 charges of sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion and sex trafficking of minors.
During a two-week trial, a jury of nine women and three men heard how Sawyer trolled neighborhoods in search of young, vulnerable victims, and how he at first promised love, before forcing the girls into prostitution.
Six girls testified at trial. They told of falling in love with Sawyer, and then being made to walk “the track” along Cicero Avenue and have sex with strangers. Some of the girls were as young as 13 when they started working the streets.
The girls spoke of receiving horrific beatings, which included having their feet pounded with a hammer. Sawyer also poked a pregnant girl’s belly with a “pimp stick” and split her head open with a glass ashtray.
The girls testified that they were branded with tattoos that included Sawyer’s favorite saying after the girls handed him cash for the day: “Chedda make it betta.”
Sawyer’s attorney argued at trial that the girls lied to Sawyer about their ages and even those who ran away from him returned.