A 31-year-old woman pleaded not guilty Wednesday after federal prosecutors in Chicago charged her with operating a sex “dungeon” and multistate prostitution business that allegedly brought in millions of dollars from clients across the nation.
Jessica Nesbitt, whom authorities say used the name “Madame Priscilla Belle,” faces charges of prostitution in addition to financial crimes, according to a 23-page federal indictment, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Her defense lawyer, Barry Sheppard argued before Judge Maria Valdez that Nesbitt operated a legal “fetish business,” not a prostitution operation, Chicago’s FOX 32 reported.
Clients learned about the business from a website called Kink Extraordinaires, according to the report. It said the dungeon’s operators provided “beautiful, psychologically sophisticated Kinksters” who would “play out of a private 5 floor Dungeon with multiple fully equipped themed rooms.”
The dungeon also boasted “free and convenient street parking,” the Sun-Times report said.
The business also advertised on sites such as Backpage.com and Eros.com.
Prosecutors allege that Nesbitt deposited cash in amounts under $10,000 in a bid to avoid detection. Such actions are called “structuring” and are illegal, the Sun-Times reported.
Nesbitt is due back in court Oct. 15 and until then has been ordered not to contact current or former employees of the business or engage in “activities of a prurient nature.”