Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bolingbrook Man Charged with Sex Trafficking

Yesterday, an ex-convict, McKenzie "Casino" Carson, was arrested on federal charges that he forced a 17-year old girl into the sex trade and prostituted her since January 2010. Carson allegedly had a group of women that he trafficked, advertised them on the internet, and kept nearly all of the portions the women were paid. According to the Chicago Tribune, "The 17-year-old girl who authorities say Carson forced into prostitution was introduced to him a year ago after confiding to an acquaintance that she was having financial problems, according to the complaint." After they met, Carson allegedly raped her, and when she told him her age, he simply replied "that don't matter." He allegedly then began to use categorical violence to keep her and the other women he trafficked in the sex trade.

It is good to hear that this pimp has been arrested and will be prosecuted for his terrible crimes. But shouldn't we also be arresting and prosecuting the johns, the men who bought sex from this 17-year-old girl? Prostitution would not be profitable without the demand from these purchasers. Johns are instrumental in fueling pimps to continue exploiting women, and yet johns are rarely prosecuted or convicted. Unless we address and eliminate the demand, we will never be able to successfully eliminate sex trafficking. To learn more about what demand is and how you can help stop the exploitation of women, visit End Demand Illinois.

This arrest should also help to shatter the myth that prostitution and sex trafficking are not happening in your own neighborhood. Think prostitution and sex trafficking couldn't happen in your area? Think again. Bolingbrook is a fairly affluent community, listed at #43 in Money Magazine's "America's Top 100 Places to Live."  If sex trafficking is happening here, it is happening in your community, too.

Don't be discouraged. Instead, be motivated! To find out more about how you can help stop sex trafficking and bring an end to sexual exploitation visit CAASE or End Demand Illinois today

Tuesday, January 3, 2012 Connected to Murders in Detroit

Last week, the Detroit Free Press and CNN revealed the staggering earnings of websites like that are fueling prostitution and sex trafficking. In the story, it’s estimated that sold about $24 million in escort ads in the past year. These ads were linked by police to the recent murders of prostituted women in Detroit.

Four women's bodies were found in the trunks of cars after they had apparently been solicited via the internet and murdered. These women had been advertised on and other websites as "escorts." Backpage is, by its own admission, a “middle man” helping to facilitate the sale of sex through its ads. There's more in a video from CNN at the end of this post.

You might ask: What’s the difference between escort services and street level prostitution? Isn’t being an escort something glamorous, more akin to Pretty Woman than to life on the street? The gruesome details of this story and so many others involving prostituted women reveal just how much violence and risk prostituted people endure, whether they are sold on the street or on the internet.

Local research here in Chicago by Jody Raphael found that the safety of women in prostitution is threatened at similar levels in both indoor and outdoor venues. No matter whether the women were escorts, worked in strip clubs or hotels or on the street, they experienced violence at the hands of customers and their pimps. Most prostituted people are forced to turn over some or all of their money to a pimp, and it’s often that pimp who places the ads with and other websites. When someone else is profiting from the sale of another’s body for sex, it is trafficking.

People who buy sex—those who surf through these ads and decide where to buy and with whom—are the ones driving the trade. If we want to end the violence of the sex trade, we have to start by stopping people who create demand. We applaud efforts to shut down’s escort ads and support local law enforcement initiatives that hold pimps, johns and traffickers accountable for the harm they cause.
To learn more about our End Demand Illinois campaign, visit

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