special report

Today, WLPO wraps up Valley of Shadows, our look at the sex trade in the area. Over the last week or so, we’ve heard from a former local prostitute. We gave her the name “Emily” and distorted her voice.

Emily has revealed some important, even eye-opening things during these installments.

  • She said that, despite the Illinois Valley’s image, prostitution runs rampant here, estimating that around a couple of hundred young women are involved.
  • She also pointed out that it’s easy to find sex for money, and that many prostitutes’ clients are well-known or powerful.

It’s worth noting that she said that weeks ago, before the recent announcement that a public defender, business executives, and a now-former mayor had been picked up in sting operations in March and April.

  • And one key takeaway from this series is the sex trade’s connection to narcotics. It’s a big reason so many girls don’t want to leave the life.

And of course the clear connection to the narcotics trade really isn’t a concern to those who are addicted.

It’s bigger than just the county, though. Money made in prostitution provides income to drug dealers and, ultimately, their connections globally.  

This concludes Valley of Shadows. You can hear each installment by visiting classichits 1039 WLPO.com. Later this week, we’ll post the uninterrupted interview online. More on that to come.

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