Officers from the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Special Victims Unit (SVU) issued citations to 22 male suspects and towed 19 vehicles after the suspects responded to online prostitution advertisements, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced Thursday, February 25, 2021.
On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, SVU officers set up meetings between the would-be sex buyers and an officer posing as a person selling sex at a hotel in Northwest Cook County. Once the buyer agreed to exchange money for sex, SVU members waiting outside entered the room and took the individual into custody.
All 22 male suspects were issued a $1,000 citation for violation of the Cook County public morals nuisance ordinance, and 19 vehicles were towed under the ordinance, requiring the vehicle owner to pay $500 to reclaim possession.
“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.”
— Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart
The statement from the second largest sheriff’s department in the United States said the the Cook County Sheriff’s Police aggressively pursues sex purchasers and offers services and support to individuals who are trapped in the sex trade.
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