Who’s a Victim of Human Sex Trafficking? » Knoxville News Sentinel
“It’s almost similar to a domestic violence issue,” says Michael Anton, commander of the Cook County Sheriff’s vice unit, based in the Chicago. “A lot of (people) say, ‘Well, they can just get out.’
“Well, it’s not that easy.”
As of this year, Illinois became one of several states where prostitution is no longer a felony. It’s also one of a growing number where a minor cannot be charged with prostitution, even as a misdemeanor. Meanwhile, prosecutors in Cook County, which includes Chicago, have set up a human trafficking unit and, in recent years, have been using new state laws to put more traffickers in jail.
Cook County Sheriff’s police also run regular sting operations to ticket customers who proposition undercover female police officers, or who use popular escort websites. The johns must pay a fine. Police also impound their cars.
“Dear John,” read billboards the department has posted near various tracks, “If You’re Here To Solicit Sex, It Could Cost You $2,150. We’re Teaming Up To Bust You.”