Chicago: A gay sex trafficking victim talks about his high-profile clients

A survivor of gay sex trafficking reveals high profile clients in Chicago. Photo: Associated Press

WASHINGTON, DC, June 25, 2012 - Sam left his second pimp, Cal, when he was able to advertise himself in a Chicago gay magazine. Sam recalls that it was nice not “having a pimp barking orders at him or threatening to kill him.”

However, it was not long before he met his third pimp Vincent. Through Vincent, Sam faced the darkest side of gay prostitution in Chicago. Providing sexual favors to high level politicians.

Vincent found Sam through an advertisement in a gay magazine. Sam agreed to meet with Vincent at a restaurant. Later, Vincent took Sam to a hotel to take a Polaroid of Sam to show to his A-list clients. In a matter of a week, Vincent contacted Sam about a client, whose code name was Larry.

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Read also Chicago: A survivor of gay sex trafficking speaks up about his ordeal

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Before the meeting with Larry, Sam received money from Vincent to go shopping, get a haircut, a manicure, and other expenses. Vincent and Larry wanted to make sure that Sam looked like a family member, not a prostitute, when people saw Larry and Sam together.

For Sam, free money was fun for a while, but it was not long before Sam realized that fun comes with a high price. Sam recalls the conversation with Vincent in the car on the way to meet with Larry.

“[Vincent] told me that if I ever thought about blackmailing him or his clients, Vincent’s associates would gut me up like a fish and dispose my body in the lake. I was terrified.” I realized then this was not game and this man was seriously more dangerous than anyone I had previously dealt with.” Sam says.

Vincent retained both “A-list” and “call list” clients. His A-list clients included high profile politicians like Larry. Some were judges. Sam referred to Vincent’s network as “family secrets.” 

Soon after Sam met Larry, he found out that Larry was a former governor of Illinois. Sam suspects that there was a close connection between sex trafficking criminals like Vincent and politicians.

“Larry once asked me if Vincent was treating me well. When I said that Vincent bothered me a lot, he said that he didn’t much care for him, either but he had no choice but to deal with him.”

Illinois politics and politicians have long been associated with organized crime; the term “underworld” is coined as a result of the miles of tunnels used by the mob that snake beneath the Windy City.

Going back to the late 1860’s when Chicago was the last gateway city to the West it was also a last stop for supplies, bourbon and brothels, and not much has changed over the last two hundred plus years.

Organized crime and Chicago politicians have walked in hand since the earliest days; recent history puts four past Chicago governors behind bars – Otto Kerner (D. 1961- 68), Dan Walker (D. 1973-77), George Ryan (R. 1999-03) and Rod Blagojevich (D. 2003- 09).

While none of these politicians was ever charged with mob collusion or any sex crimes, they have all gone to prison on charges related to corruption and their arrests speak to the alleged dalliance of Chicago politicians and organized crime.

High profile dealings of gangster’s and politicians include the infamous Al Capone and Tony Arcardo, who ruled Chicago’s rackets for over 90 years, to Hizzoner’ Mayor Richard J. Daley’s Democratic Machine and the well publicized cooperation of the Democratic party with Chicago’s mobs of the day.

Sam alleges that some very high placed Chicago politicians were his clients, however it bears repeating that none has ever been charged with prostitution or sex crime related charges which allows people the plausible deniability that there is a link between organized criminals’ and collusionary politicians, involved in sex trafficking of youth like Sam.

According to researcher Lucy Berliner, Child Sexual Abuse Investigations, Washington State Institute for Public Policy, “sexually abused children have been known to deny, minimize, “forget” and confuse, but rarely do they lie.” Matching children’s statements against admissions by sexual offenders researchers found that “not only were the children’s statements accurate, but often they were understated accounts of the abuse suffered that made the abuse seem less serious than it actually was.

Since they have not seen it in their lives, they treat it like a myth, but as Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly says, “We believe the kid.” However, Sam has not only seen it, he has lived it and memories of his sexual slavery remain painful.

The sexual violence and harassment from high-powered political clients, leave these children with even brutal emotional scars. They should enforce, rather than mitigate the laws. Until the public and politicians eyes are open to this connection between government, mobs, and sex traffickers, Chicago will remain as one of the cities in the country for unchecked youth sex trafficking.

For more information read “The commercial sexual exploitation of children and youth in Illinois” (Pdf archived above).

By coming forward Sam hopes to raise public awareness of youths’ exploitation on all levels to a wider audience. This is not a victimless crime and it requires that we all be aware of the children in our own homes and communities that are at risk of predatory sex traffickers and child molesters.  


This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Youngbee Dale

Youngbee Dale graduated from Regent University with Master’s degree in International Politics in 2009. While at Regent, she interned at World Bank and co-contributed to a human trafficking publication, “Setting the Captives Free” by Olivia McDonald (2007). She also worked with migrant workers and human trafficking victims in South Korea. Currently, she stays home with her three-month-old son to exercise the divine rights to mother and breastfeed him. 

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