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In 2005, Illinois passed one of the nation's strictest laws on human trafficking which  involve offenses of involuntary servitude, sexual servitude of a minor or forced labor of persons for services. Charges range from a Class 4 to a Class X felony if kidnapping or injury to the victim is involved. If convicted, you may face severe penalties of heavy fines, jail time, a permanent criminal record and possibility of having to register as a sex offender, as well as having to pay restitution to the victim for their forced labor. The Illinois laws protect the victims of human trafficking and prostitution by providing social services under both Federal and State programs and immigration assistance.

Also, in 2010, the Governor Pat Quinn signed into law the Illinois Safe Children Act which protects minors forced into sex and ensures that children are immune from criminal prosecution and instead are placed in the child protection system. Human trafficking crimes are also illegal under federal law, Title 18, Chapter 77 and the Mann Act 18 U.S.C.A. § 2421 [as amended 1986], making it a crime to transport a person over interstate lines or for foreign commerce for the purpose of prostitution or other immoral acts.

Prostitution, pimping, pandering and solicitation of prostitution are also illegal under the following Illinois laws listed below. You can be found guilty of crimes ranging from  Class A misdemeanor to a Class 4 felony which carry sentences Prostitution; pandering, pimping and solicitation charges carry sentences of up to 1 yr and/or $2,500 then 1-3 yrs and/or $25,000. Law enforcement may impound any vehicle used by the person in the commission of the offense.

720 ILCS 5 Sec. 11 14.1 solicitation of a sexual act is considered a Class B misdemeanor offense.

720 ILCS 5 Sec. 11 15 solicitation for a prostitute offense is considered a Class A misdemeanor.

720 ILCS 5 Sec. 11 16 pandering by compelling a person to become a prostitute and receiving compensation or arranging for the situation is a Class 4 felony and a Class 3 felony if the violation takes place within 1,000 feet of a school.

720 ILCS 5 Sec. 11 17 keeping a place of prostitution is a Class 4 felony.

720 ILCS 5 Sec. 11 18 patronizing a prostitute is a Class A misdemeanor.
720 ILCS 5 Sec. 11 19 pimping by receiving any article of value from a prostitution earned in part from act of prostitution is a Class 4 Felony and a Class 3 felony if the violation takes place within 1,000 feet of a school.

Case Example

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office's pilot program announced that their Columbus Day weekend joint eight law enforcement agency sweep of “Johns” called “National Day of Johns Arrests" resulted in sting activities and arrests on the streets, hotels, brothels, the Internet and other places which were concluded on Monday morning October 10, 2011. Among those agencies that participated were:

Cook County Sheriff Police Department (Illinois)
Aurora Police Department (Illinois)
Cincinnati Police Department (Ohio)
Elgin Police Department (Illinois)
Las Vegas Police Department (Nevada)
Los Angeles Police Department (California)
Phoenix Police Department (Arizona)
Newport News Police Department (Virginia)

There were a total of 247 charges with the arrest of 216 Johns, a total of 223 arrests, fines totaling $238,490, 71 vehicles that were towed, 2 pimp arrests, 8 drug arrests. The majority of arrests took place on the street and in hotels. A grant from Demand Abolition supports Illinois public awareness programs to deter offenders from participating in commercial prostitution and/or human trafficking by offering eligible defendants an opportunity to participate in the law enforcement agency's pilot program "John Schools." Other voluntary and involuntary programs are also offered to rehabilitate offenders.

Victims of prostitution and human trafficking are offered social services and safe housing to allow them to leave their lifestyle of prostitution.  The success of the law enforcement agency's pilot program is expected to lead to future collaboration John sweeps across the nation in the fight of solicitation of sex and related crimes.  Next year, under Illinois Senate Bill 1037, sponsored by Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) and Rep Karen Yarbrough (D-Maywood), defendants of human trafficking at the time of their prostitution convictions will be able to file a motion to vacate the conviction if they can prove their participation was because they were a victim.

Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are arrested of a prostitution or human trafficking crime in Illinois, it is important to understand your rights. Since these are serious crimes, it is recommended that you hire an Illinois Criminal Defense attorney to defend you. The attorney understands that arrests for prostitution, pandering, solicitation and related human trafficking crimes many times involve entrapment, violation of privacy and are discriminatory resulting in false charges and individual rights being violated. Other factors to be considered are whether a human trafficking offense occurred as a result of fear or abuse. The attorney will defend your rights to try get your charges reduced, community service, a voluntary or mandatory John educational or other community program, probation or get your case dropped.

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