Jennifer Seering, 27 and Makala Marie Chaisson, 19 (police photos).
Makala Marie Chaisson, 19, of Buffalo, Texas; and Jennifer Seering, 27, of Brookfield, Wisconsin; were charged with prostitution following an undercover sting operation at local hotels, according to Arlington Heights police.
Chicago Tribune’s TribLocal Arlington Heights learned from police that the undercover operation targeted prostitution advertised online with police investigating women offering “dates” on the website Backpage.com. The prostitution business is apparently more lucrative in large cities or metropolitan areas near major airports.
Seering, who allegedly offered her services for $200, was arrested at a hotel on the 400 block of West Algonquin Road between 9:00 and 9:47 p.m. Monday, September 12, according to police.
Chaisson, who allegedly charged $150 for half an hour, was arrested at a hotel on the 0 to 99 block of West Algonquin Road at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 13, 2011.
Chaisson and Seering were released on individual-recognizance bonds and are scheduled for court dates on October 7, 2011.
Backpage.com is owned by Village Voice Media, which was sued in an unrelated case one year ago, September 2010, by a 15-year-old minor sex trafficking victim for allegedly aiding and abetting forced prostitution and the exploitation of children, and child pornography. The court document claims that the company failed to investigate prostitution ads on Backpage.com.
The court document also states that the victim’s exploitation began while she was a fourteen-year-old, who was being sexually trafficked as a paid escort for sex by Latasha Jewell McFarland, an adult. McFarland admitted in open court that she photographed the victim in explicit, nude pornographic poses and posted the photos in advertisements on the backpage.com website.
The victim sought at least $150,000 in damages, but in August 2011 federal judge Thomas Mummert III in St. Louis dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that websites are protected when users that post material are not affiliated with the website.
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