A 24-year-old Ashburn man has been charged with
Troy Gardener, of 77th and Trumbull, was arrested Feb. 18 at a Southwest Side hotel during an undercover operation in response to a Backpage.com advertisement.
A sheriff's spokesman declined to name the hotel, but said it is in the Ford City vicinity.
During the operation, members of the county's vice unit recovered a female victim and learned that Gardener had rented the hotel room for the purpose of prostitution, according to a statement released to the press by the Sheriff's Office.
Officers also reportedly learned that he was gaining financially from the alleged prostitution being conducted in the room by the woman, who he met via Backpage.com.
Backpage is a classified advertisement website with "escort" pages that serve as prominent hubs for prostitution and sex trafficking, Dart said.
Since 2009, the vice unit has made over 750 arrests off of Backpage. Gardener's apprehension is the 47th vice-related arrest for involuntary servitude, human trafficking or promoting prostitution since 2007, the statement added.
The majority of those investigations originated from Craigslist or Backpage postings for prostitution.
The woman was offered services through the Sheriff’s Women’s Justice Program, which supports recovering prostitutes as they overcome their trauma while maintaining safe and healthy lives. Gardener was charged Thursday with promoting prostitution, a Class 4 felony. He is scheduled to appear in bond court today (Friday) at the George N. Leighton Criminal Courts Building.
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