Five women, one man and one transgendered individual were arrested last week for sexual solicitation (Tribune) by Aurora detectives at a hotel on the west side. The detectives aimed their sting operation at suspected prostitution services advertised online, most notably the "erotic services" section of Craigslist.
Laws on prostitution
Everyone knows prostitution is illegal in Illinois - and just about everywhere else outside of Nevada and the Netherlands.
But calling prostitution the world's oldest profession is more than just a cliche and its legitimacy (or illegitimacy) in civil society has sparked plenty of controversy.
Those who support the outright legalization of prostitution - like the Prostitute's Education Network - say sex workers deserve the protections and dignity of other occupations in which a skill is traded for money.
The ACLU also supports the decriminalization of prostitution - on First Amendment grounds -but some say they conveniently assume that all prostitutes are self-employed entrepreneurs.
That said, of course, there is little doubt unscrupulous pimps exist largely because prostitution is illegal.
Opponents of legalizing prostitution - such as the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - rightly highlight the scourge of sex trafficking, one of the largest and most exploitive industries in the world, but fail to account for the abuse that persists under the cloak of illegality. Moreover, how exactly has the illegality of prostitution curtailed its demand?
A Court Dismisses A Claim That Craigslist Facilitates Prostitution (FindLaw) Prostitution Laws of Illinois (ProCon.com) The Prostitution of Women and Girls in Metropolitan Chicago (PDF, Center for Impact Research) Locate a Chicago Criminal Attorney (FindLaw)