sex trafficking

Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons


In the past few decades, the sex industry has become easier to conceal, in part because of the internet. Back channels open pathways for anonymous transactions. Peoria Public Radio reports on one particular illicit business that's operating in many communities, including this one, in broad daylight.

Flickr Creative Commons/Ren Rebadomia

A Chicago father and his twin sons have been sentenced for running a sex trafficking business with underage girls.  Nathan Nicholson is sentenced to 16 and a half years in prison, and his sons, Tyrelle and Myrelle Lockett, are sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison each. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Ren Rebadomia

A Chicago police officer is in federal custody on charges of sex trafficking a 14-year-old girl.  Officer William Whitley was named in a criminal complaint that includes charges of production of child pornography.  The 60-year-old Whitley, a 26-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, was arrested Tuesday afternoon and appeared in court today. 

The state of Illinois is asking for the public's help in cracking down on child human trafficking.  The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services says trafficking of children for sex occurs throughout Illinois. The department says it has investigated more than 600 allegations of the crime in Illinois since 2011.

Victims of sex trafficking would have additional protections against prosecution for prostitution under legislation that received Illinois Senate approval. Chicago Democratic Sen. John Mulroe's measure would provide such victims with an "affirmative defense" that defeats criminal charges.  Prostitution is a Class A misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Mulroe says people sold as sex slaves "live in a dark and heart-breaking world" made worse "when our justice system fails them."  The Senate approved the proposal 55-9.  It now moves to the House.