Pekin is a city of about 30,000 residents located roughly 10 miles south of Peoria, Illinois. Police say that many of the prostituted persons in Pekin are from Peoria, and are dropped off by their pimps to do business for a day or so. Others travel from Bloomington, Indiana. In 2011, police conducted their first prostitution sting, deciding to focus on the male buyers rather than the providers of commercial sex. They conducted three web-based reverse stings in a three week period, arresting 19 sex buyers and publicizing their names, ages, and home towns. The arrested men were cited with violating a city ordinance, and paid a $200 fine. In August 2012, a set of two more web-based reverse stings were conducted, resulting in seven arrests, and the names, ages, and addresses of arrestees were published in local new outlets. Several months earlier, officers noticed women dressed like prostitutes during the late evening and early morning hours in downtown Pekin. They eventually learned the women had been brought to the city from Peoria to meet with clients who arranged to meet them over the Internet. Police then placed a fake ad on website backpage.com, and in a 24-hour period had 125 voicemails.The Pekin Police Department hired three “informants” for $100 per night to play the part of the prostituted woman (i.e., serving as reverse sting decoy). The implication is that the decoys were not police officers – an uncommon but not unprecedented practice.
- Pekin Police Department
- Local hotels allowing police use for reverse stings
- Web Stings and Shaming:
- “19 Arrested in Pekin Prostituion Stings”, Peoria Journal-Star, April 17 2011.
- “Area Men Get Stung: Pekin Police Department Nets 19 in Prostitution Sting”, Pekin Voice, April 17 2011.
- “Pekin Prostitution Sting Nets Macomb Man”, McDonough County Voice, April 21 2011.
- “Prostitution Sting Leads to Discipline”, Pekin Times, April 29 2011.