As many as one-third of the 1.7 million men arrested nationwide for prostitution each year are caught in Chicago alone, according to data from the U.S. Department of Justice.
As a result, Chicago has one of the largest sex tourism industries in the country.
But it’s not just the city’s most popular destination for men who need to pick a date or a hotel for an overnight stay.
It’s also where Chicago escorts operate, which are also among the most dangerous and lucrative in the industry, according for the Chicago Police Department.
“They’re going to do whatever it takes to make money, regardless of what they’re doing,” Chicago police Supt.
John Edwards said in an interview.
Edwards, who heads the department’s sexual assault unit, said escorts often lure young men with promises of work and love.
They offer them false promises about their jobs and the pay.
Edwards said escorting is one of many ways pimps exploit young men and is often part of the problem.
In recent years, the number of people arrested for prostitution has gone up in the city, but it’s still a small percentage of the population.
And unlike most other cities, the city doesn’t have a mandatory minimum for escorts.
“You have to do it,” Edwards said.
“There’s no exception to it.”
The number of women arrested for trafficking has also gone up dramatically.
Since 2010, more than 7,000 women have been arrested for working as sex slaves in the U, according the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
In 2015, more Chicagoans were arrested for selling their bodies for sex than the U., according to a study from the National Alliance on Sexual Exploitation.
But the vast majority of the people arrested in Chicago for prostitution aren’t involved in sex trafficking.
Many of them, like Anthony, are victims.
When Anthony was a teenager, he went to an escort agency that promised to teach him about how to be a man, but when he turned 18 he found himself at the mercy of pimps and johns.
“I was living in the hood,” Anthony said.
He said he was paid a few hundred dollars to meet a woman at a strip club and ended up taking her to an empty parking lot.
The night ended when he found out she was pregnant.
“It just devastated me,” Anthony recalled.
Anthony has since graduated from a local high school and is working to become a licensed sexual offender.
But he’s still not happy with how things turned out.
“When you think about it, what if I did this for a living?
What if I was a prostitute?
It’s not the same,” Anthony added.
The city is currently considering legislation to require sex workers to register with the state.
Some city officials have said they are considering legislation that would ban escort agencies.
But sex workers and activists argue that it will only further entrench pimps in the underground sex trade.
“If you don’t have any regulation, you’re going down the road of criminalization,” said Anthony.
A Chicago police detective says Chicago’s sex industry is one reason why it has the highest rate of prostitution arrests in the state of Illinois.
He says that while prostitution is legal in Chicago, there’s still no way to prevent the traffickers.
Chicago Police Officer Matthew Williams said he has no choice but to enforce the law to protect his community.
“Our job is to protect our citizens, not make people uncomfortable,” Williams said.
“There’s been a lot of talk about it,” he added.
“We are not afraid to take a stand and make a statement.
We are not going to allow this to happen to us.”