Cook County Sheriff’s Police regularly perform prostitution stings attempting to bust men in money-for-sex crimes. The county’s Public Morals Nuisance Violation Ordinance (Sec. 58-163.1) results in monetary citations, impounded vehicles, arrests, and damaged reputations. On Thursday night, officers arrested 21 men who responded to online prostitution ads in Northwest Cook County, reports NBC News on Friday, April 9, 2021.
Police set up meetings at a local hotel with men agreeing to meet an undercover officer who posed as a person selling sex online. Once the suspect agreed to pay for sex, Special Victims Unit officers entered the room and took offenders into custody.
Each man was issued a $1,000 citation for violating Sec. 58-163.1 of the Ordinances Code. Any person who uses a computer, phone, or electronic communication device in the commission of prostitution solicitation shall be guilty of the crime.
The fines imposed may not be less than $500 and no more than $1,000. In addition to paying a citation, a violator could be required to a minimum of 100 hours of community service.
Nineteen vehicles were seized and impounded under Section 58-164. The cost to reclaim their vehicles is $500.
All fines collected under the prostitution ordinance shall be deposited in the Women’s Justice Services Fund to be used to fund rehabilitation services, including substance abuse and mental health treatment.
Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department aggressively targets men who solicit prostitutes. Sheriff Thomas Dart adds they also offer resources to those trapped in the sex trade. He says:
Sex trafficking is not a victimless crime. many victims, primarily women, suffer violence and abuse, and my office is committed to offering them the assistance they need while making it very costly for those who seek to purchase sex.
The United States Department of Justice’s definition of sex trafficking includes language traditionally called prostitution. Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons or modern-day slavery, is a crime that includes forcing or coercing a person to provide labor or services or to engage in commercial sex acts – prostitution. The exploitation of an individual under the age of 18 for commercial sex is human trafficking, regardless of whether any form of force, fraud, or coercion was used.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Chicago Sun-Times: 21 arrested in Cook County prostitution sting Chicago Sun-Times
NBC News: 21 Arrested in Cook County Prostitution Sting
DOJ: WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
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