Sex Trafficking Charges

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Daily Herald reported:
A 33-year-old Round Lake Beach woman faces charges of sex trafficking involving a 15-year-old girl after an investigation by the Lake County sheriff's office, authorities said Saturday.

Sheila E. Johnston of the 1200 block of Sunset Drive was charged with involuntary sexual servitude of a minor, promoting juvenile prostitution and prostitution, the Lake County sheriff's office said in a news release.

The investigation began with a tip from Round Lake Beach Police to the sheriff's office. On July 12, Johnston posted an advertisement on a website offering the juvenile, who she previously held legal guardianship over, to participate in sexual acts in exchange for money, police said.

Undercover sheriff's detectives communicated with Johnston, who then took the juvenile to a hotel in Waukegan, where she met with the customer, an undercover detective. During the meeting Johnston offered both herself and the juvenile for sexual acts for money, police said.

The juvenile was taken into protective custody and placed under the supervision of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Johnston was arrested and taken to Lake County jail pending a bond hearing.

Gurnee police assisted in the investigation.

"There is nothing more revolting than taking the innocence away from a juvenile and promoting a child for prostitution," Sheriff John Idleburg said in the news release. "I am very proud of the collaboration which went into this investigation to identify and arrest a sexual trafficker, while rescuing a juvenile."

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