A 33-year-old man who authorities say started a relationship with a 17-year-old girl, then forced her into prostitution with promises of money and then threats of abuse, is behind bars Tuesday.
Judge Adam Bourgeois denied bond for Anthony Love, who “lured an underage girl into a sexual relationship and then forced her into prostitution in order to support him and feed his drug habit, according to a statement from the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.
Love, a Chicago resident, is charged with a Class X felony count of involuntary sexual servitude of a minor; and felony counts of human trafficking and promoting juvenile prostitution, according to prosecutors.
In court, prosecutors said Love met the girl, a ward of the state, in May 2015 near her school and “pursued her with promises that he would make the victim his girlfriend, despite knowing that she was underage.”
He often encouraged the victim to skip school, kept her away from her foster parents for long periods, and repeatedly asked her for cash “to help him pay for gas and crack cocaine,” prosecutors said.
In June 2015, he encouraged the victim to “solicit young women to engage in prostitution for him,” but she refused, and he then convinced her “to directly engage in prostitution by promising to reward her for her efforts.”
For months, he would drive the girl to a Southeast Side area known for prostitution and force her to “to stand on a street corner and wait for male customers,” though he knew she did not want to, prosecutors said.
Love would set up a hotel room for the sex acts and then take the money from her afterwards. “On several occasions, Love choked, hit, and pulled the victim’s hair when she threatened to quit,” prosecutors said. And every time she complained he would “convince her to continue with false promises and physical abuse.”
Earlier this month, Love forced the victim to have sex with “as many as 17 men in a two-day period,” prosecutors said. But on the second day, he was pulled over for driving with a suspended license, and the girl, who was in the car at the time, told officers what was happening.
Love is next scheduled to appear in court Sept. 8.