Special Report

Since last Wednesday, you’ve had the chance to get to know a little bit about a young lady – a former prostitute – who left the life and helped authorities with the March and April stings that nabbed nine area men, including a public defender, a hospital executive, and a now-former mayor. We decided to look at the story, and the regional prostitution issue, from her perspective.

We interviewed her a few weeks ago. She’s local, so we’ve changed her voice and her name. We’re calling her “Emily.”

In today’s installment of Valley of Shadows, Emily shares with us how girls tend to get started in the Illinois Valley’s sex-for-money trade.

Emily estimates that the Illinois Valley is home to a couple of hundred women who are paid to have sex. And many of them have addictions, as she told us last week.

Given the situation, it’s probably no surprise that so many of them don’t – or can’t – walk away from the lifestyle.

Emily estimates that 40 percent of the women in the sex industry in the Illinois Valley have kids. And that about 20 percent of the girls are in committed relationships.

Tomorrow, we’ll wrap up Valley of Shadows. We’ll discuss again how prostitutes and narcotics are linked. Then, we’ll make the interview available online.

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