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Leyden Township is a community of approximately 91,000 residents, located northwest of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois. Prostitution has been a persistent and visible problem in the Mannheim Road area for years. In an effort to identify and apprehend sex buyers, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office has incorporated the use of street-level reverse stings. Police have used formerly prostituted women as scouts, and the reverse sting operations have typically used an undercover female officer as a decoy. When men attempt to solicit sex, they are quickly arrested. Police may release the names and identities of the arrestees to the media.
In 2008, Cook County implemented the “Public Morals Nuisance Ordinance to End Demand.” Arrested sex buyers in Leyden Township could then be subject to auto seizure and up to 100 hours of community service. Additionally, fines collected from sex buyer arrests were deposited in a Women’s Justice Services Fund. In 2010, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office began placing two anti-soliciting billboards in the Mannheim Road area with these words of warning to potential sex buyers: “Chances are, the woman you are about to pick up works for us. Expect to pay $2,150.”
In July 2021, the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Special Victims Unit arrested 25 men who tried to purchases sex in a reverse sting in Leyden Township. The men were each issued a $1,000 citation and 21 vehicles were towed under the Cook County public morals nuisance order, which requires vehicle owners to pay $500 to reclaim them.
- Cook County Sheriff’s Office
- Cook County Sheriff’s Police Special Victims Unit
Reverse Stings and Auto Seizure:
- “Leyden Prostitution Sting Nets 20 Arrests”, Chicago Sun-Times, July 5 1993.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 22 Arrests”, Chicago Tribune, October 4 1993.
- “Prostitution Sting Brings 15 Arrests”, Chicago Tribune, May 23 1994.
- “16 Men Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, Chicago Tribune, September 2 1995.
- “Vice Squad Cops Posing As Prostitutes Arrest 12”, Chicago Tribune, September 15 1995.
- “Ten Face Charges of Soliciting Prostitution”, Daily Herald, November 4 1995.
- “Mannheim Sex Sting Nets 10 More Arrests”, Chicago Sun-Times, November 8 1995.
- “23 Men Face Charges in Prostitution Sting”, Chicago Tribune, August 6 1996.
- “Des Plaines Man Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, Daily Herald, August 17 1996.
- “Des Plaines Man Among 39 Arrested in West Suburban Prostitution Sting”, Daily Herald, October 29 1996.
- “5 Northwest Suburban Men Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, Daily Herald, April 19 1997.
- “Suburban Prostitution Sweep Nets 104”, Chicago Tribune, August 25 1997.
- “Mannheim Sting”, Northlake Herald-Journal, August 1 2001.
- “Police Nab 41 Men in Sex Sting”, Chicago Tribune, September 1 2001.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 106 Men”, Chicago Tribune, November 8 2003.
- “Over 250 Arrested in Countywide Prostitution Crackdown”, ABC/WLS-TV, July 25 2007.
- “Police Arrest 7 in Mannheim Road Prostitution Sting”, NBC/WMAQ-TV, July 30 2008.
- “Mannheim Prostitution Sting Nets 27 Arrests”, Franklin Park Herald-Journal, March 17 2012.
- https://www.audacy.com/wbbm780/news/local/prostitution-sting-generates-25-arrests-sheriff (2021)
- https://www.fox32chicago.com/news/prostitution-sting-results-in-the-arrest-of-25-johns-in-cook-county (2021)
- https://www.cookcountysheriff.org/more-than-two-dozen-men-arrested-in-cook-county-sheriffs-police-john-sting-in-unincorporated-leyden-township (2021)
- https://www.journal-topics.com/articles/24-men-arrested-in-leyden-township-sex-for-hire-sting (2021)
- https://www.fox32chicago.com/news/24-men-arrested-in-cook-county-during-sting-operation-targeting-sex-buyers (2021)
Background on Prostitution in the Area: