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Round Lake Beach woman charged with sex trafficking 15-year-old girl

Sheila E. Johnston, 33, of Round Lake Beach.

A Round Lake Beach woman allegedly pimped out a 15-year-old girl, who she previously had legal guardianship over, for sex in exchange for money, police said.

Sheila E. Johnston, 33, of the 1200 block of Sunset Drive in Round Lake Beach, was charged with trafficking in persons, involuntary sexual servitude of a minor, promoting juvenile prostitution and prostitution.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Special Investigations Group concluded a long-term investigation into the sex trafficking of a 15-year-old girl after receiving a tip from the Round Lake Beach Police Department.

Lake County Sheriff Spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli said that Special Investigations Group detectives learned that Johnston was possibly pimping a 15-year-old girl, who she previously held legal guardianship over.

On Friday, Johnston posted an advertisement on a website offering the girl to participate in sexual acts in exchange for money, Covelli said. Undercover detectives communicated with Johnston and she offered the juvenile and herself to engage in sex acts in exchange for money.

“Johnston trafficked the juvenile to a hotel in Waukegan, where she met with who she thought was a customer, but was really an undercover Sheriff’s Detective. During the meeting Johnston offered both herself and the juvenile to engage in sexual acts for money,” Covelli said.

Johnston was arrested and the juvenile was taken into protective custody. The girl was transported to a safe shelter where the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services took protective custody of her.

“There is nothing more revolting than taking the innocence away from a juvenile and promoting a child for prostitution. I am very proud of the collaboration which went into this investigation to identify and arrest a sexual trafficker, while rescuing a juvenile,” Sheriff John Idleburg said in a statement.

Johnston remains held in the Lake County Jail pending a court hearing Saturday.


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