The bedspread smells like old cigarettes and the air conditioner is acting up.
Our room is filled with burly cops in baseball caps and T-shirts, badges hung around their necks, watching TV and joking around.
Watching guys get caught is like watching that fantasy get destroyed over and over.
In the room across the hall are female undercover officers dressed as sex workers. Only a few hours earlier, they had placed ads on a site called advertising sex— already, guys are calling them looking to meet up. ” Her colleague, Officer Lisa*, says she sometimes gets asked “‘what do your tits look like? ’” When a client arrives at the hotel, the undercover officers text their colleagues to make sure everyone’s out of the hall.“Yes, that’s my real picture,” says Officer Meg*, twirling her hair as she talks on the phone. The cops gather by the door, looking through the keyhole and waiting for a sign from the undercover officer.*Some names have been changed to protect the safety of the individuals involved. But in a cigarette-scented hotel room near a Chicago airport, more than a dozen men come and go with wet cheeks and quivering lips.No one had died, no national tragedy had occurred— they had just been caught trying to buy sex.Across the country, cops are implementing a strategy that has long been debated in Europe: targeting the men who buy sex while trying to help the women who sell it.
Some police and scholars say that focusing law enforcement attention on sex buyers reduces demand for prostitution, which strangles the sex industry and curbs human trafficking.
[time-interactive id=include-css params="css_url= Story by Charlotte Alter Videos by Diane Tsai Cook County / Ill.
*Some names have been changed to protect the safety of… Story by Charlotte Alter Videos by Diane Tsai Cook County / Ill.
We thought it would be like an adrenaline-pumping episode of Law & Order SVU, but we were wrong.
Sex stings aren’t glamorous—they’re grim windows into the loneliness and desperation that motivates some men to grasp at the sexual cornucopia they think they are owed.
His logic is that the cops are out there so infrequently, only people buying regular sex are likely to get caught.