CHICAGO MAN ARRESTED FOR
Friday, February 20, 2015
—A 24-year-old man has been charged with promoting prostitution after the Cook County Sheriff’s Vice Unit arrested him during an undercover hotel operation, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart said today.
Troy Gardener, of Chicago, was arrested Feb. 18 in southwest Chicago during an undercover operation in response to a Backpage.com advertisement.
During the operation, members of the Vice Unit recovered a female victim and learned that Gardener had rented the hotel room for the purpose of prostitution. Officers also 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 whose ‘Escorts’ pages serve as prominent hubs for prostitution and sex trafficking. Since 2009, the Vice Unit has made over 750 arrests off of Backpage. Gardener is the 47th Vice arrest for involuntary servitude, human trafficking or promoting prostitution since 2007. 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.
Sheriff Dart reminds the public that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.