Articles Posted in Prostitution

hans-vivek-223133-unsplash-copy-300x199South suburban Orland Park was home to a massage parlor that was recently closed. One of the masseuses has been charged with prostitution. 53-year-old Jihua Dun allegedly propositioned an undercover police officer, offering to perform a sex act in exchange for money. The former employee of Ty Spa gave the massage to the officer on March 7.

Law enforcement was prompted by complaints from patrons. According to a press release by the Orland Park Police Department, certain spa employees were “unlawfully touching” and propositioning customers. After allegedly propositioning the undercover officer, investigators entered the business and arrested Dun. She was released after posting bond and will appear in court mid-April.

The business license for the spa was immediately revoked after the arrest. The future of Ty Spa depends on the outcome of a pending hearing before Village officials. According to police, three years ago, a spa called Zy Massage was listed at the same address. It was also shut down because two employees were charged with prostitution. A police spokesperson said it was common for a new unrelated company to open in a location previously occupied by the same type of business for commercial purposes.

kristina-flour-185592-copy-300x192The owner of a massage parlor was arrested and charged with prostitution in an investigation launched by authorities in Wisconsin.

Undercover officers covertly investigated Asian Massage Reflexology in New Berlin, a city between Chicago and Milwaukee, after being informed that staff were engaging in sexual activity with clients in addition to the massages provided.

The owner, Jing Zhang, was charged with maintaining a place of prostitution. If convicted, she is facing a maximum sentence of six years in prison, according to court records.

toa-heftiba-578093-unsplash-copy-200x300A Chicago woman was arrested at a Plainfield massage parlor, where she was an employee, for offering to perform sex acts on undercover police officers for money.

47-year-old Yinyan Gao was employed by Plainfield Massage. The Will County Cooperative Police Assistance Team investigated the business after being informed of several customer complaints stating Gao allegedly propositioned them inappropriately when the customers came in for massages.

Numerous undercover police officers visited the business to receive a massage from Gao. During the sessions, Gao allegedly propositioned the officers and gave them the impression she would perform sex acts for money.

drew-patrick-miller-4560-unsplash-copy-300x111In the state of Illinois, it is illegal to exchange a sex act for anything that has value. The charges brought against the defendants in prostitution cases are determined by their role as promoter, seller, or buyer.

For example, on November 1st, a man from Bellwood was accused of forcing a woman into prostitution in 2016 and 2017.

The crime of prostitution is only applicable to a seller who agrees to perform or knowingly offers sex acts for anything of value, which is cash in most cases. For the buyer, the criminal charges of solicitation and meaningfully patronizing a prostitute are applied.

max-bender-702436-unsplash-copy-240x300As many people know, prostitution is the act of engaging in some form of sexual activity in exchange for money or another item that has value. As many people also know, prostitution is illegal just about everywhere you go, and Chicago is no exception. A person is considered to have committed prostitution when he or she willingly engages in such an act, willingly accepts payment, and agrees to engage in any act related to or that can be considered prostitution.

Who can be Charged with Prostitution?

There are a few different people who can be charged with prostitution when a situation such as this arises. For the most part, there are usually three people involved in an act of prostitution – the prostitute, the customer, and the third party (pimp). Not all three will be discovered in the same location as the pimp is usually not with the prostitute when the crime occurs. But, some pimps are so widely known that law enforcement will be able to pinpoint which pimp the prostitute works for in the area.

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This summer, police officers across the United States have been cracking down on prostitution-related offenses. Sting operations aimed at stopping the solicitation of prostitution have been executed across the country, including several in Illinois. The Chicago Tribune reports that a recent sting operation in Arlington Heights resulted in 14 men being charged with the crime of soliciting a sexual act. The Arlington Heights police carried out the sting by placing ads on the internet designating a specific time and hotel for interested people to meet. When individuals arrived at the designated hotel room a female undercover agent greeted them. Additional officers were waiting to arrest offenders who offered money to the undercover agent for sexual acts and to charge them with misdemeanor solicitation of a sexual act.

What Constitutes Entrapment?

Typically, entrapment occurs when a police officer induces someone to commit a crime that he or she would otherwise not have been disposed to commit. Entrapment can be used as a defense to a criminal charge, and is often alleged by defendants who have been charged with solicitation of a sexual act. In Illinois, the legal test for entrapment is contained in 720 ILCS 5/7-12 and prohibits a criminal defendant from being convicted if their illegal conduct was either incited or induced by a public agent in order to obtain evidence for the prosecution of that person. However, entrapment can not be used as a defense if the defendant was predisposed to commit the crime and the public agent simply provided them with the opportunity to commit it.

file2261243267180Illinois is extremely hard on those convicted of sex crimes. In many cases, the law requires those convicted of sex crimes to register on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry, which is a public database. For any number of reasons, people fail to register or renew their registration, sometimes through no fault of their own. So, what happens if you do not register?

Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in Illinois

Failing to register as a sex offender in Illinois, or failing to renew your registration, means you can be charged with a Class 3 felony. If it is the second or subsequent time that you failed to register as a sex offender, or failed to renew your registration as a sex offender, then you can be charged with a Class 2 felony. This means that you will be required to spend a minimum of seven days in jail and pay a minimum fine of $500, although a Class 2 felony could carry a sentence of three to seven years.

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Prostitution and any acts related to prostitution are crimes under the Illinois code. Some prostitution-related crimes even require registration as a sex offender. If you are charged with a prostitution related crime in Illinois, consult an experienced attorney for guidance.

What is Prostitution?

In Illinois, performing, agreeing to perform, or offering to perform any sexual act in exchange for anything of value is considered prostitution. In most cases the charge of prostitution is a Class A misdemeanor. However, if you are charged with prostitution within 1000 feet of a school zone, or if it is your second or subsequent prostitution conviction, you will be charged with a Class 4 Felony.

A Lyons man was arrested last week and charged with two counts of promoting prostitution through a joint investigation by the Cook County Sheriff’s Vice Unit and the Berwyn Police Department. The alleged promotion of prostitution occurred on a website offering goods and services for sale.

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Illinois Promotion of Prostitution

In Illinois a person commits the crime of promoting prostitution if he knowingly arranges, or offers to arrange “a situation in which a person may practice prostitution” and profits from his actions.

The word “knowingly” is important. Unless the prosecution can prove that the defendant knew he was arranging a situation where sex would be bought and sold, he cannot be convicted of promoting prostitution.

In a case like this, where the defendant was arrested based on information posted on a website, there are a number of different avenues the defense can explore that may cast reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case. These may include:

Whether anybody else had access to the defendant’s computer. Posts to websites can normally be traced back to the user’s IP address. Using a team of computer experts, we could pinpoint the location of the computer which posted the ads, as well as the date and time of the postings, and determine who else may have had access to it. If the computer was the defendant’s, we would look at any roommates, friends or family members who may have had unrestricted access to it at the time the posts were made. If the posts were made at a public computer, such as a library, then proving the defendant made the posts would be extremely difficult, since any number of people could have accessed the computer.

What the defendant thought he was picking up. The defendant was arrested on his way to allegedly pick up proceeds from the prostitution operation. But the fact that he was on his way to a destination to pick up money doesn’t necessarily mean he knew what the money was for. He could have been told the money was a debt owed to the person he was getting it for. Or he may have been told that is was for the sale of an automobile or other property. He may not even have been told to pick up money, but rather simply to go and meet somebody at that location.

Whether any actual profit resulted from the alleged ads. A conviction for promoting prostitution requires that the defendant profited from the alleged prostitution. The defense would need to look closely at any money that the defendant made and whether the money came from payment for prostitution.

Whether the defendant had the means to offer prostitutes. Even if the defendant placed the ads, if he didn’t have the means to fulfill his offer, he cannot be convicted for promoting prostitution. For example, perhaps he was just pulling a prank and intended to video tape and post on social media any people who showed up with the intent of purchasing sex. Or perhaps he arranged to meet individuals who responded to the ads and intended to rob them of the money they had brought for payment. If the defendant did not have the ability to provide prostitutes to anybody who responded to the ads, the charges must be dismissed.

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The Cook County Sheriff’s Office participated in the National Day of Johns Arrests July 17 – August 3, along with 28 other law enforcement agencies in 14 states. The sweep, which was created by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office in 2011, netted 14 men on charges of allegedly being involved in pimping, trafficking or promoting prostitution, while another 184 men were arrested and charged with attempted solicitation.

Chicago Solicitation of Prostitution Cases

Most cases of solicitation involve two consenting adults, neither of whom were kidnapped and forced into prostitution (known as sex trafficking), so it is generally a victimless crime. However, this is not a valid defense in court, because the law assumes that the prostitutes are vulnerable and that their circumstances – for example, a single mother with no other means of support – led them to accept payment for sex. Where leniency is often given to the prostitutes, it is not to the men arrested and charged with solicitation. And a conviction for solicitation is not a slap on the wrist – you face up to a year in jail and a $2,500, not to mention the social stigma.

Because of this automatic bias against those accused of soliciting sex, experienced defense counsel is vital in defending against charges of solicitation. Creating a defense requires examining the circumstances that led up to the arrest to determine whether the prosecution can prove that the defendant was, in fact, soliciting sex. Facts that would negate the prosecution’s claims and require the charges to be dropped or would lead to an acquittal in court may include:

  • Whether the defendant knew the woman was a prostitute (for example, if he thought he was just hitting on a stranger at the bar);
  • Whether any money exchanged hands. Even someone who sells sex for a living can decide to have sex with somebody for free simply because she finds him attractive;
  • Whether the defendant dropped all attempts to have sex with the woman once he realized she was a prostitute;
  • Whether the defendant was enticed or entrapped. These stings often result in overzealous, undercover police officers forcefully attempting to get the defendant to pay for sex in order to make an arrest; or
  • If the alleged solicitation occurred over the Internet, such as in response to a Craigslist ad, did the defendant actually intend to follow through; for example, perhaps he was engaging in some risqué flirting or indulging a fantasy, but never intended to meet the woman at the designated place and time.

If any of these factors are present, then there is a strong defense to be made that the charges should be dropped. Solicitation cases carry a social stigma even if the defendant is ultimately acquitted. Having the case tried in court opens up the possibility for it to be reported in the local newspaper, which can negatively impact your job and public reputation. Our goal in all solicitation cases is to get the charges dropped as quickly as possible to not only avoid potential jail time and fines, but to avoid possible damage to your reputation as well.  Continue reading