$1M bond for Dolton man charged after prostitution sting
BY CASEY TONER Sun-Times Mediaemail@example.com June 2, 2013 11:48AM
Guillaume Thomas | Cook County Sheriff's office photo
Updated: July 4, 2013 6:46AM
Bond was set at $1 million Saturday for a Dolton man charged with “involuntary sexual servitude of a minor” in the south suburbs.
Guillaume Thomas, 22, was charged with involuntary sexual servitude of a minor and trafficking in persons, according to Cook County Sheriff’s office.
Sheriff’s officers in the vice unit and Lansing Police arrested Thomas on Wednesday night after a sting operation at a Lansing hotel. The officers responded to an ad on Backpage.com and found a “female juvenile” apparently working as a prostitute, according to a news release issued by the sheriff’s office.
While few details were available, officers think Thomas was “involved” in the girl’s prostitution and took him into custody. According to a sheriff’s spokesman Sophia Ansari, Thomas also was wanted on a battery warrant out of East Hazel Crest.
The girl was reunited with her family and referred for services through the sheriff’s Women’s Justice Programs. Ansari said there were no other victims in the case.
An Illinois Department of Children Family Services spokesman said Sunday that DCFS has not been contacted regarding the girl.
Thomas was scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday at the Cook County courthouse in Markham.
Frank Bilecki, the sheriff’s director of governmental affairs, said that Backpage.com’s adult section has filed the void occupied by the former Craiglist “erotic services” section, which closed in 2009 amid pressure by Dart and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. They claimed the website fostered the illegal sex trade.
According to Bilecki, Dart has a vice unit making weekly arrests through Backpage.com ads in order to gather enough information to make a case against the website.
“It’s been the experience of the sheriff’s vice unit that Backpage.com acts as a virtual pimp that facilitates prostitution and human sex trafficking in Cook County,” a statement from the sheriff’s office said.