Wilmette, IL

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Wilmette is a village of just under 30,000 residents, located on the northern outskirts of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, near Evanston. Prostitution activity has been reported in the community for several years, primarily from within adult-oriented businesses and at local hotels. The village has also documented at least one case of sexual exploitation of minors; in 2008, a Wilmette resident and physician was convicted of felony possession of child pornography and misdemeanor distribution of a controlled substance after he gave a 17-year-old girl “sample doses of prescription drugs” and made “a video of her dancing in her underwear for money” in his home.

In an effort to reduce illegal sex sales in the community, the Wilmette Police Department has conducted at least one reverse sting targeting sex buyers. In early February 2015, WPD officers– with the support of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Evanston, Skokie, Lincolnwood and Oakbrook Terrace Police Departments– placed a decoy online advertisement on a “social media network,” and arranged to meet the individuals who responded at a nearby hotel. Seven johns were arrested as a result. All of their names, ages, addresses and arrest photos were released to the public.

In the days following the operation, a representative with the WPD reported that the hotel used to stage the sting had cooperated fully with law enforcement, going so far as to say “they were very helpful in offering up their facility to assist our investigation.”



Key Partners

  • Wilmette Police Department
  • Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office
  • Evanston Police Department
  • Skokie Police Department
  • Lincolnwood Police Department
  • Oakbrook Terrace Police Department
  • Local hotels

Key Sources

State Illinois
Type City
Population 27087
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