Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has waged a highly publicized crusade against prostitution in recent years — targeting johns who enable the sex trade and websites that host online sex ads. But he acknowledged the problem is increasing in the Southland.
Dart said he is mostly powerless to fight the illegal sex trade without assistance from websites such as Backpage com.
"There are ways we could do this better, but there's been no interest in it (on the part of Backpage)," he said in a recent interview in the Daily Southtown. "We can't give up, but at the same time, it's definitely never going to be easy."
The classified advertising site shuttered its "adult" section, a veritable haven for prostitution ads, earlier this month following intense government pressure and the release of a damning U.S. Senate report, but the move appears to have been symbolic.