Schiller Park man accused of running ‘sex trafficking house of horrors’
BY LAUREN FITZPATRICK Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org February 1, 2013 7:12PM
Keith A. Williams, , mug shot supplied by StateÕs AttorneyÕs Office, charged with human trafficking Cook County, Ill., on Friday, February 1, 2013. | Ting Shen~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 3, 2013 6:13AM
Prostitutes were allegedly detained in a suburban Schiller Park home, driven to and from sex jobs, and if they misbehaved, were deprived of the drugs that their ringleader, Keith “Shampoo” Williams had hooked them on, authorities said Friday.
Williams, 52, of Schiller Park, also allegedly urinated on the women to punish them.
At least six women were identified as human trafficking victims of Williams, his accused chauffeur, Roman Kurek, 49, and the alleged lead prostitute, Sylvia Topolewski, 37, who served the women on an actual silver platter, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said.
The three, who shared a blond brick two-flat in the near northwest suburb, all are charged with involuntary servitude, a felony charge that carries a possible prison sentence of up to 30 years, and with human trafficking. Kurek faces an additional charge of promoting prostitution, and Topolewski of prostitution, Alvarez said at a news conference. Williams is being held on $650,000 bail; the other two on $350,000 each.
“What started out as a standard investigation into drugs and prostitution quickly evolved into something which was much more complex,” she said, flanked by Schiller Park police and the others who worked the eight-month undercover investigation. “Keith Williams was the chief operating officer of a sex trafficking house of horrors, providing the sexual services and drug-addicted women to countless numbers of paying customers and collecting all of the significant cash profits for himself and his associates.”
Alvarez said at least six women have been identified and offered assistance though the county’s Human Trafficking Initiative, but more are believed to exist. Anyone with information should call Schiller Park police at (847) 678-4794.
By May 2012, Schiller Park police suspected drug and prostitution activity at the house and found a deeper, darker crime ring within, they said.
Williams, who police said took the moniker “Shampoo” from his days working in a barber shop, was recruiting poor, homeless and otherwise vulnerable women he met on the street, getting them hooked on heroin and crack cocaine, and sending them out on daily prostitution jobs through phone and Internet appointments. Kurek drove the women around and kept them in line since they weren’t allowed to leave the house alone, Alvarez said. Topolewski taught the women how to work as prostitutes, collected the cash and served up the drugs, usually twice and sometimes three times a day, she said.
The women told police if they violated Williams’ orders, they’d be left for days without food, beaten with lumber or plungers, and sometimes he urinated on them, according to affidavits. He made them charge at least $150 a date.
Pete Hickey, who’s been representing Williams on a pending 2010 drug case, said he couldn’t say if his client was a pimp, as accused.
“Once the trial is completed, we’ll all know that,” Hickey said, citing Williams’ presumption of innocence.