Springfield, IL

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Cameras
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
Letters
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Springfield is the capital of Illinois and government seat of Sangamon County, IL, and has a population of approximately 116,000 residents. Prostitution has been identified by law enforcement as a substantial problem in the city for decades, and residents have complained to police about prostitution in certain neighborhoods. Among the more serious issues associated with the city’s commercial sex market are child sex trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children.  Media reports have also documented several cases of targeted rape and murder of prostituted women in the city, as well as the robbery and attempted murder of male sex buyers. For example, in 2002, a sex buyer (and Springfield city official) was stabbed in the chest by a 14-year-old trafficked girl after sexually abusing her in exchange for money.

In response to such concerns, police have adopted several tactics to identify and apprehend sex buyers. The Springfield Police Department has conducted both street-level and web-based reverse stings using undercover female officers as decoys. As buyers attempt to solicit sex from the women, they are arrested by police. The SPD has also at times released arrestees’ names and other identifying information to the local media. Using a Springfield City Ordinance, officers may also impound sex buyers’ vehicles until they pay an administrative fee.

Loss of employment is also a consequence of buying sex in the city. For example, in 2018, a former Illinois State Police trooper was arrested for soliciting prostitution after the Champaign Police Department and the Illinois State Police were alerted of his alleged activity. According to reports, the sex buyer had attempted to solicit sex acts from a prostituted woman through Backpage.com in exchange for $120. As a result of his arrest, the sex buyer was placed on administrative leave with pay pending the results of the investigation. After pleading guilty, the sex buyer was sentenced to an 18-month conditional discharge, which required him to resign from his position within 30 days and pay the Champaign County Circuit Clerk a $500 fine.

Key Partners

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings:

  • “Police Beat”, Springfield State Journal-Register, January 29 1987.
  • “Police Arrest 13 Men on Soliciting Charges”, Springfield State Journal-Register, May 22 1987.
  • “Eleven Men Arrested for Soliciting Prostitution”, Springfield State Journal-Register, April 3 1988.
  • “Police Beat”, Springfield State Journal-Register, August 15 1988.
  • “Police Beat”, Springfield State Journal-Register, May 17 1993.
  • “Police Beat”, Springfield State Journal-Register, July 29 1995.
  • “Police Beat”, Springfield State Journal-Register, August 18 1996.
  • “Police Beat”, Springfield State Journal-Register, December 24 1998.
  • “Prostitution Sting Nets Seven Arrests”, Springfield State Journal-Register, August 12 1999.
  • “7 Arrested during Prostitution Sting”, Springfield State Journal-Register, July 19 2000.
  • “Police Beat”, Springfield State Journal-Register, May 30 2003.
  • “Police Beat”, Springfield State Journal-Register, June 11 2003.
  • “Police Use New Approach to Root Out Prostitution; Often-Ignored Problem Fought with Stings, Outreach”, Springfield State Journal-Register, June 15 2003.
  • “Police Beat”, Springfield State Journal-Register, July 2 2003.
  • “Police Beat”, Springfield State Journal-Register, November 26 2003.
  • “On the Streets; Officers Dress as Prostitutes, Johns to Confront Crime”, Springfield State Journal-Register, March 28 2004.
  • “Police Officers Participating in Stings Must Avoid Entrapment”, Springfield State Journal-Register, March 28 2004.
  • “Successful Decoys Go Beyond Dressing the Part”, Springfield State Journal-Register, March 28 2004.
  • “Police Beat”, Springfield State Journal-Register, June 30 2004.
  • “Police Beat”, Springfield State Journal-Register, August 21 2006.
  • “5 Accused of Sex Crimes in Parks”, Springfield State Journal-Register, October 10 2008.
  • “Springfield Alderman Charged with Solicitation of Sex”, NBC/WAND-TV 17, August 10 2009.
  • “Police Report: Cahnman Said He Would Pay 3 Women”, Springfield State Journal-Register, August 21 2009.
  • “Alderman Pleads Not Guilty to Sex Solicitation Charge”, Springfield State Journal-Register, October 13 2009.

Web-Based Stings:

Auto Seizure:

Proposed John School:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

  • “Police Beat”, Springfield State Journal-Register, August 15 1985.
  • “4 Accused of Trying to Force Woman to Become Prostitute”, Springfield State Journal-Register, March 28 1986.
  • “Police Beat”, Springfield State Journal-Register, July 23 1986.
  • “Woman Loses Custody of 2-Year-Old Daughter”, Springfield State Journal-Register, October 14 1988.
  • “Police Beat”, Springfield State Journal-Register, October 18 1988.
  • “Judge Finds Woman Fit to Stand Trial”, Springfield State Journal-Register, May 24 1989.
  • “Woman Pleads Not Guilty to Charges She Tried to Sell Child as Prostitute”, Springfield State Journal-Register, May 31 1989.
  • “Police Beat”, Springfield State Journal-Register, July 2 1995.
  • “Stabbed Motorist Identified; Belongs to Board that Oversees Hiring of Police Officers”, Springfield State Journal-Register, January 19 2002.
  • “Civil Service Commission Member Faces Sex Charges; Indictment Alleges Relations with Underage Prostitute”, Springfield State Journal-Register, March 28 2002.
  • “Jasmon Sentenced to Conditional Discharge”, Springfield State Journal-Register, August 29 2003.
  • “Police Say Man Running Teen Prostitution Ring”, CBS/WCIA-TV 3, March 29 2013.
  • https://www.wandtv.com/news/trafficking-porn-charges-leveled-against-man/article_4d3b7047-85b0-581a-bdcf-840ddae89bf4.html (2018)

Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

  • “City Police Still Hunting Suspect in Kidnap Case”, Springfield State Journal-Register, March 23 1986.
  • “Two City Men Arrested in Woman’s Murder”, Springfield State Journal-Register, June 12 1986.
  • “Didn’t Help Kill Prostitute, Watts Testifies at His Trial”, Springfield State Journal-Register, October 30 1986.
  • “Watts Gets Thirty Years for Murder of Prostitute”, Springfield State Journal-Register, November 25 1986.
  • “Jury Finds Sperow Is Guilty of Murder in Death of Prostitute”, Springfield State Journal-Register, December 19 1986.
  • Sperow Gets 60-Year Term for Murder”, Springfield State Journal-Register, January 27 1987.
  • “Prostitution: New Solutions for New Problems; ‘The Game’ Is More Deadly than Ever”, Springfield State Journal-Register, April 25 1993.
  • “Help Sought about Attempted Murder”, Springfield State Journal-Register, October 27 1993.
  • “Stabbed Motorist Identified; Belongs to Board that Oversees Hiring of Police Officers”, Springfield State Journal-Register, January 19 2002.
  • “Civil Service Commission Member Faces Sex Charges; Indictment Alleges Relations with Underage Prostitute”, Springfield State Journal-Register, March 28 2002.
  • “Jasmon Sentenced to Conditional Discharge”, Springfield State Journal-Register, August 29 2003.
  • “Dead Woman ID’d; Body Found in Refrigerator”, Springfield State Journal-Register, August 23 2002.
  • “Springfield Man Charged with Godoy Murder”, Springfield State Journal-Register, August 25 2002.
  • “Man Pleads Guilty to Godoy Murder”, Springfield State Journal-Reporter, January 29 2005.
  • “Going to the Johns; Fighting Prostitution from the Demand Side”, Illinois Times, August 20 2008.
  • “Springfield Couple Arrested for Robbery”, NBC/WAND-TV 17, October 26 2010.
  • “Police: Woman Arrested, Two Men Sought after Armed Robbery in Springfield Hotel Room,” Springfield State Journal-Register, June 23 2015.

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

  • “Judge’s Help Sought in Crackdown on Prostitutes”, Springfield State Journal-Register, November 8 1993.
  • “City to Crackdown on Prostitutes”, Springfield State Journal-Register, November 24 1993.
  • “Barricades Blocked Old Problem; Prostitutes Now Backing Off from Lincoln Home Area”, Springfield State Journal-Register, April 22 1994.
  • “Battle against Prostitution a Continuous Cycle for Some”, Springfield State Journal-Register, October 9 1994.
  • “Prostitute-Rehabilitation Center Urged; Council to Make Final Decision”, Springfield State Journal-Register, November 16 1995.
  • “Police Officer Charged with Misconduct; Allegedly Offered to Ignore Offense in Exchange for Sex”, Springfield State Journal-Register, April 10 1996.
  • “Sting Targets Historic Area”, Springfield State Journal-Register, May 27 1996.
  • “Prostitution Near Abe’s Home May Become a Federal Case”, Deseret News, May 30 1996.
  • “Springfield Officials Running Off Hookers Near Lincoln Home”, Chicago Sun-Times, June 25 1996.
  • “Woman Sentenced to 18 Months on Prostitution Charge”, Springfield State Journal-Register, February 12 1999.
  • “Business Owners Appreciate Prostitution Sting Operation”, Springfield State Journal-Register, September 21 1999.
  • “A New Twist in Fighting Prostitution; Those Given Probation Will Be Banned from High-Intensity Areas of City”, Springfield State Journal-Register, July 17 2005.
  • “Another Roundup Nets Suspects; Springfield Police Seek about 40 People Wanted on Drug, Prostitution Offenses”, Springfield State Journal-Register, August 25 2007.
  • “Two Springfield Women Charged with Online Prostitution”, NBC/WAND-TV 17, May 11 2009.
  • “Six Springfield Residents Arrested on Various Prostitution Charges”, NBC/WAND-TV 17, July 31 2009.
  • “Six Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, NBC/WAND-TV 17, August 29 2012.
  • “Prostitution Arrest in Springfield”, NBC/WAND-TV 17, October 23 2012.
  • “Police Arrest 10 in Prostitution Sting”, Springfield State Journal-Register, December 6 2012.
  • “Two Caught Having Sex in a Park”, NBC/WAND-TV 17, July 19 2013.

Sex Buyer Fired and/or Resigned Due to Arrest:

State Illinois
Type City
Population 115888
Location
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