Local Police Reports

Cook County Prosecutors Secure First Jury Conviction Under Human Trafficking Initiative

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–March 25, 2011.  A Chicago man is the first person convicted by a jury after being charged with operating a prostitution ring in Chicago and surrounding suburbs under new human trafficking laws implemented by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office,  State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez announced yesterday.

Troy Bonaparte, 46, was charged last August following a joint investigation by investigators in the State’s Attorney’s Human Trafficking Initiative Unit and Cook County Sheriff’s Police Vice officers under new initiatives created by the State’s Attorney’s office to combat the problem of domestic human trafficking.

This conviction is the first jury conviction for the State’s Attorney’s Human Trafficking Unit, created in 2010, which includes dedicated prosecutors who work with law enforcement partners at the federal, state and local level to conduct long-term and proactive investigations.  The office also works in partnership with social service providers to assist law enforcement and help provide services for children or others who become victims of human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a problem that is becoming more prevalent in our communities and it is a crime that no woman or child should be subjected to,” said Alvarez.  “We will continue to aggressively prosecute offenders who are forcing victims to sell themselves and help victims seek the help they need.”

Bonaparte was convicted following a three day jury trial on felony charges of Involuntary Servitude, Trafficking in Persons for Forced Labor or Services and Pandering.  Bonaparte faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced on May 3, 2011.

According to prosecutors, Bonaparte, who went by the name, “Magnificent” targeted and recruited women to work as prostitutes for profit.  Bonaparte would rent motel rooms at various locations in the city and surrounding suburbs, where women would service 5 to 25 customers per day.   Bonaparte kept all of the money the women earned and threatened to beat or kill them if they didn’t comply with his demands to perform the sex acts.

Bonaparte was arrested on August 8, 2010 by undercover Cook County Sheriff’s Police Officers in an Elk Grove Village motel room, where he was found with money and computer equipment used to run the prostitution ring.

State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Vice Unit for their work on the case.  Alvarez also thanked investigators and Assistant State’s Attorneys Beth Pfeiffer and Matt Thrun of the Human Trafficking Initiative /Organized Crime Unit for their handling of the case.

Source: statesattorney.org