Local law enforcement have reported complaints from residents about prostitution activity in the city for several decades. The city has also documented several child sex trafficking cases, and has on multiple occasions recovered minor females when making prostitution sweeps.
Rockford has also served as the operating base for a serial rapist targeting prostituted women, and law enforcement agencies have investigated cases involving the murder of women prostituted within the city. To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have targeted consumer-level demand for commercial sex, which provides the revenue stream driving all commercial sex and trafficking.
To identify and apprehend local sex buyers driving the prostitution and sex trafficking markets, the Rockford Police Department has conducted street-level reverse stings, some in response to community complaints. The Rockford Police Department has conducted periodic reverse stings since at leastand has publicized the names of arrestees since the early s.
In a study by the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, Rockford was ranked second in the state behind Chicago in the total of online postings by sex buyers, and ina web-based reverse sting was conducted. The city also instituted a vehicle seizure ordinance in During the operation, police observed each individual drive to the location officers gave to them, and due to that reason, the vehicles were impounded.
Inthe Rockford Police Department arrested one prostituted person, but more than a dozen sex buyers were arrested and spent time in jail.
In August,27 men were arrested after an investigation into the illegal sex trade at two lingerie shops that spanned several months. The reputations of the businesses had persisted for years before police raided the two establishments in May and the city shut them down for code violations.
The identities of the male sex buyers were disclosed publicly, and included a former CEO, a bank president, an elected official, a youth soccer coach, doctors, and other prominent business leaders. It was originally developed by Dr. ZIP: 61114 61109 61108 61104 61107 61101 61103 61102 61105 61106 61110 61125 61126