An Austin man was arrested for allegedly prostituting a 16-year-old runaway after a Chicago area law student doing research on the sex trade saw an online ad featuring the teenager.
The student had contacted Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s on his Twitter account in April and officials were able to arrest Kinshasha Johnson this week following an undercover operation.
Sheriff’s officials said they matched the girl’s picture on backpage.com to her Facebook account, in which she corresponded with Johnson.
Johnson, of the 1000 block of North Leamington Avenue, drove the teenagers to at least 30 “dates” and often took a $50 cut from the encounters, prosecutors said in court Thursday.
The girl had run away from home in Central Illinois and had suspected to be in Chicago, sheriff’s officials said.
Johnson, 29, first met the girl at a motel in Harvey in February, Assistant State’s Attorney Akash Vyas said.
That day, after taking her to her first client, Johnson gave the minor a cellphone so she could post ads soliciting sex acts on backpage.com, Vyas said.
When he couldn’t drive the girl to meet her clients, Johnson would provide a car and she would drive herself, Vyas said.
At one point, when the girl was living with Johnson, her sister moved in and stole her belongings as well as Johnson’s and his friend’s, Vyas said.
The sister eventually moved out, but Johnson told his victim that she couldn’t leave unto she paid for all the items that were stolen, Vyas said.
Late last month, Johnson traveled to Milwaukee where the girl had gone to meet a customer, Vyas said.
The pair came back on Monday to an apartment building at 51st Street and Calumet Avenue, Vyas said.
Johnson was arrested the next day when police arrived at the South Side complex.
Johnson, who has a previous aggravated criminal sexual abuse conviction for having a relationship with a 12-year-old girl, allegedly admitted his role in the crimes
Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil ordered Johnson held without bail Thursday for facing human trafficking, involuntary sexual servitude and promoting juvenile prostitution charges.
Contributing: Rummana Hussain