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Joliet is city with a population of about 147,000 located in northeastern Illinois, with portions of the city in Will and Kendall counties. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of the counties. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is child sex trafficking, and the assault and murder of prostituted women.
Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. The city of Joliet has been addressing consumer-level demand for prostitution and sex trafficking since at least 1976, when reverse stings and identity disclosure were first used. In one of the earlier stings that occurred in 1976, 24 male sex buyers were arrested for solicitation. Another tactic used in Joliet is seizure of vehicles used by sex buyers. In 2007, during a two day reverse sting, 30 men were arrested. In addition to having their names, ages, and addresses published in local media, 27 of the men who were driving also had their vehicles towed. In 2011, police arrested 11 sex buyers in a web-based reverse sting and seized $2,000 and 11 cell phones from the alleged solicitors. Ten vehicles were also impounded. Police received an additional 60 calls in response to the ads for sex, but couldn’t get to all of them. Arrested sex buyers may face fees totaling over $600 in connection with their solicitation arrest. Often, these stings and arrests come as a result of complaints from the community about prostitution, sex trafficking, and associated crimes in the area.
- Joliet Police Department
- Neighborhood Response Team
- Local area residents and businesses
Street-Level Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “24 Caught in Police Gal’s Tender Trap”, Miami News, February 16 1976.
- “Policewoman’s Masquerade Nets 24”, Calgary Herald, February 16 1976.
- “Printing Names of Prostitute Clients: A Moral Dilemma”, Chicago Tribune, April 18 1976.
- “Judge Rules Men Can Buy What Women Can’t Sell”, Chicago Tribune, April 28 1976.
- “Four Arrested in Prostitution Dragnet”, Joliet Herald-News, March 23 1997.
- “Prostitution Sting”, Joliet Herald-News, April 6 1998.
- “Police Report”, Chicago Tribune, September 22 1998.
- “Prostitution Sweep in Joliet”, Joliet Herald-News, November 2 1998.
- “On This Day”, Joliet Herald-News, August 7 2002.
- “12 Men Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, Joliet Herald-News, February 24 2006.
- “Joliet Police Fight the War on Prostitution and Its Associated Crimes with the Help of Two Female Officers”, Joliet Herald-News, October 29 2007.
- “Two-Day Prostitution Sting Nets Arrests”, Joliet Herald-News, October 31 2007.
- “Sex Sting Nets Dozens of ‘Johns'”, Joliet Herald-News, November 7 2007.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 20”, Joliet Herald-News, June 12 2010.
- “Joliet Police Arrest 16 Men During Prostitution Stings”, Joliet Herald-News, September 4 2011.
- https://chicago.cbslocal.com/33-people-snagged-in-joliet-prostitution-sting (2011)
- https://www.daily-journal.com/news/local/joliet-police-arrest-33-in-sex-sting (2011)
Web-Based Reverse Stings:
- “33 People Snagged in Joliet Prostitution Sting”, CBS/WBBM-TV 2, February 16 2011.
- “‘Johns’ Become the Target, Too”, Joliet Herald-News, February 16 2011.
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Child Porn Charge Dropped Against Alleged Teen Prostitute with Nude Self Pics”, Joliet Herald-News, December 1 2011.
- “2 Men Charged in Prostitution Ring in Chicago, Suburbs,” Chicago Tribune, January 15 2016.
- https://patch.com/illinois/joliet/women-beaten-drugged-suburban-sex-trafficking-ring (2016)
- https://www.nbcchicago.com/suburban-family-faces-sex-trafficking-firsthand-looks-to-warn-others (2017)
- https://www.shawlocal.com/sex-trafficking-awareness-walk-set-for-saturday-in-joliet (2019)
- https://enewspf.com/federal-indictment-charges-richton-park-and-joliet-men-with-sex-trafficking (2020)
- https://patch.com/illinois/joliet/sex-trafficking-defendant-arrested-near-joliet-sheriff (2020)
- https://patch.com/illinois/joliet/inmate-beaten-last-week-faces-federal-sex-trafficking-crimes (2020)
- https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndil/pr/federal-indictment-charges-two-men-sex-trafficking (2020)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Joliet Landlords to Suffer for Unlawful Tenants”, Chicago Tribune, December 20 1990.
- “Elgin to Deal with Lingering Evils; Proposed Loitering Law Aimed at Drugs and Prostitutes”, Chicago Tribune, May 22 1991.
- “‘Victimless Crime’ Tries Cops Patience; Prostitution: Police Sweep Streets, Only to Meet Same Old Suspects Later”, Joliet Herald-News, August 5 1997.
- “Joliet Prostitution Sting Nets Two Dozen Arrests”, Joliet Herald-News, September 22 1998.
- “Escort Service Gets Escorted to Police Station”, Joliet Herald-News, December 30 2001.
- “Appeals Court Throws Out Joliet’s Anti-Loitering Law“, Chicago Tribune, January 29 2004.
- “City Targets Nuisance Properties; Joliet Ordinance: Owners Can Be Called in After Certain Offenses”, Joliet Herald-News, April 22 2005.
- “Undercover Joliet Cops Sweep Up Prostitution”, Joliet Herald-News, February 16 2012.
- http://thetimesweekly.com/news/jolietwill-blotter-domestic-battery-prostitution (2014)
- https://buglenewspapers.com/joliet-and-shorewood-police-blotter (2017)
- https://www.theherald-news.com/parlor-employee-pleads-guilty-to-prostitution (2018)
- https://www.theherald-news.com/crest-hill-massage-parlor-employee-arrested-on-prostitution-charge (2018)
- https://patch.com/joliet-pimp-2-women-stolen-car-captured-i-55-grundy-sheriff (2023)
Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area: