Prostitution Moves from the Streets to the Internet in Rockford

By: Meghan Dwyer
By: Meghan Dwyer

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Prostitution has moved from street corners to websites. 23 News has been investigating just how common online prostitution is locally.

Craigslist got in trouble for its adult content and ads for prostitution but that hasn't stopped other sites from picking up where Craigslist left off. In Rockford alone there are about twenty online postings every day for sex on backpage.com.

It’s almost like yelp or Angie's list for prostitution. The so-called "Johns Boards" review the girls and tell others what services they got and if they were any good.

The actual prostitution takes place at hotels and massage parlors but not on the street and in the back of cars anymore. In some ways it's a safer way to do business, but to tackle the problem experts say law enforcement can't just arrest the girls. It needs to focus on the pimps and the buyers that drive from miles around to come to Rockford for sex.

An ordinance went into effect early this year that allows the police to impound cars that are involved in sex-related crimes. Since January they have picked up more than twenty cars.

Just last week the Rockford Police conducted a prostitution sting. They arrested four men who were allegedly buying sex. All of their cars were impounded.


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