Kirk, Dart announce arrests of 72 'johns'
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart Monday announced the arrest of 72 Illinois people who bought sex.
The arrests were made as part of a national sting to curb human trafficking. The nationwide sweep began two weeks before Sunday's Super Bowl, a time when trafficking and abuse of victims is high, Kirk, a Highland Park Republican, said.
"Modern-day slavery, in the form of human trafficking, affects more than 100,000 children every year. Right here in Illinois, 72 sex solicitors were arrested and taken off the streets thanks to this nationwide sting," Kirk said.
The Cook County sheriff's office arrested 25 so-called johns, followed by Lake County sheriff's office with 19 arrests. The Aurora Police Department arrested two more during the two-week effort.
Nationwide, 54 adult and 29 juvenile sex trafficking victims were recovered.
Last week, Kirk, along with House and Senate members, requested U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder conduct an immediate investigation of a website he said is one of the biggest proponents of trafficked victims in the country.
The human trafficking industry generates billions of dollars worldwide, and Kirk wants Illinois to lead the nation in putting in end to the trade.
U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, a Plano Republican, has also pushed anti-trafficking legislation.