(CBS) — Senator Mark Kirk and States Attorney Anita Alvarez are promoting an agenda aimed at stopping prostitution advertised over the internet, reports WBBM’s John Cody.
Senator Kirk displayed ads from an internet site, which lists items for sale as well as adult companionship, run by a pair of men from Arizona.
“Two top human traffickers in the country do this through their company they partially own called backpage.com,” said Kirk.
Kirk’s legislation would make it illegal to advertise prostitution on the internet, and allow the feds to shut down websites promoting underage sex.
Marion Hatcher says she was once caught up in a life filled with drugs, domestic violence and prostitution. Now, she works for the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, trying to help women turn their lives around.
“You’ll see more internet-based and less street trafficking,” she says of the sex trade.
Defense attorney Michael Ettinger asserts parts of the proposed legislation are unconstitutional. He predicts court challenges if it’s passed.
State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said most people think sex trafficking of minors is an international problems, but she also said it’s a local Chicago problem where the University of Illinois estimates there are around 20,000 women and girls involved every year in the commercial sex trade.