Weather Updates

Judge: Convicted west suburban madam to get her 2 little girls back

Kimberly Miniewill get her two kids back judge ruled Friday. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times

Kimberly Miniea will get her two kids back, a judge ruled Friday. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times

storyidforme: 32151683
tmspicid: 9644033
fileheaderid: 4432948

Updated: July 17, 2012 12:42PM

Two little girls who were raised in a west suburban brothel will be returned permanently to the convicted madam who “adopted” them from a heroin-addicted prostitute, a Cook County judge ruled Friday.

A year and a half after the girls — ages 3 and 9 — were put into foster care by the state, Cook County Family Court Judge Richard Stevens ordered them returned to 52-year-old Kimberly Miniea, who says she’s no longer in the prostitution business. The judge said he believes her.

Miniea admitted she previously lied to the judge about quitting the sex trade. But Stevens decided her testimony that she had finally closed her Berkeley brothel and its satellite branches in the south and northwest suburbs was “credible, despite her previous deception.”

During the time she operated the brothel, Miniea involved her 17-year-old biological daughter in running the operation. And she was once caught on tape by undercover cops boasting that she was going to “burn in hell” because she’d “paid” a heroin addict to give her the younger of the two “adopted” girls, according to court records. She later recanted that claim.

In seeking the return of the two girls, she told the judge she’d turned her life around, quit drinking and studied to be an addiction counselor after social workers took the girls from her home a second time, in a November 2010 vice raid.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office both had urged Stevens to permanently place the girls with the foster family with whom they’ve been staying, saying Miniea hadn’t taken responsibility for her mistakes.

Miniea’s attorney Michael McInerney urged a reunification, saying that though the madam “might not have a family like a 1950s sitcom . . . it’s still a real family.”

In his ruling Friday, the judge wrote that Miniea’s “testimony was at times self-serving.” He questioned the former madam’s claim that the little girls were never home when prostitutes were there with their customers. But Stevens also declared that Miniea had make “significant progress” in therapy and “begun taking responsibility for how the [sex] business may have affected the children.”

The girls “see Ms. Miniea as their mother,” Stevens wrote, adding that it was “in the best interests” of the children that they be returned to her as soon as possible.

Miniea — wearing a pink T-shirt and white pants in court Friday — beamed as the judge announced his ruling. She gripped the hand of Vicki Ward, a former Las Vegas call girl who helped her raise the children.

Later, outside court, McInerney said Stevens’ ruling was the right one, saying, “She’s Mom to those girls.”

The Chicago Sun-Times reported in January that, according to court records, Miniea was caught on tape by undercover cops claiming that her boyfriend was a judge and that she “didn’t have any problems with the police” thanks to her VIP list of clients.

McInerney said none of that matters any more.

“She really is out of the business,” he said.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.