Chattanooga man sentenced to federal prison for kidnapping, sex trafficking

Corie Gillispie, 42, has been sentenced to 33 years for kidnapping, two counts of commercial sex trafficking, transportation for prostitution, and money laundering. Images: Hamilton Co. Jail/MGN

A federal judge has sentenced a Chattanooga man who was found guilty of kidnapping and sex trafficking.

U.S. District Court Judge Travis R. McDonough sentenced 42-year-old Corrie Gillispie to 33 years in federal prison.

Back in April, a jury convicted Gillispie of kidnapping, two counts of commercial sex trafficking, transportation for prostitution, and money laundering.

According to documents on file with U.S. District Court and evidence produced during the trial, Gillispie romantically pursued a victim and convinced her to travel to another state to meet him. When the victim arrived, Gillispie told her that he was a pimp and restrained and assaulted the victim when she tried to leave his vehicle. Gillispie held the victim against her will, and he forced her to sell her body for money, with him taking the money through threats of force, fraud and coercion.

Gillispie's co-defendant and accomplice Willie Watkins agreed to a plea deal this past April, pleading guilty to conspiracy to transport individuals for the purpose of prostitution and facing up to five years in prison. Federal authorities arrested the two men in 2016.

During the trial and the sentencing hearing, Judge McDonough ruled that Gillispie acted disrespectfully with an intention to obstruct the administration of justice, and sentenced Gillispie to an additional year in prison for contempt.

Agencies involved in this investigation included U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, Chattanooga Police Department, FBI, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

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