Two people were arrested this weekend after allegedly prostituting a 15-year-old mentally disabled girl on the West Side.
Around midnight on Friday, police saw a 15-year-old girl wearing only a bra and fishnet stockings flagging down cars near 4700 W. 5th St., according to a release from the Cook County State's Attorney's office.
When police questioned the girl, she told them 45-year-old Cornelius Mondane, who was standing nearby, was her pimp and that Shermille Patterson, 41, "recruited her to prostitute for the couple about three weeks ago."
Mondane and Patterson, both of Chicago, were charged with involuntary sexual servitude of a minor and trafficking in persons for forced labor of services, according to the state's attorney's office.
The girl told police that Mondane and Patterson would pick her up from her home and drive her to the West Side, where she would perform sex acts for money. They also provided her with a cell phone and clothes to wear while "working" for them. They took all of the money made and provided her with marijuana and alcohol.
Over the weekend, Mondane's bail was set at $250,000 and Patterson's at $150,000. If convicted, they face up to 30 years in prison.
Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez began a Human Trafficking Initiative in her office earlier this year, where prosecutors work more closely with local and federal law enforcement to coordinate investigations and to provide services to those "caught up" in the sex trade.
"These arrests highlight the fact that the sexual trafficking of our children is not just a global problem but one that is taking place right here in our own backyards," Alvarez said in a statement.