COOK COUNTY, IL – A Chicago woman who befriended and then sexually trafficked a runaway teen has been charged with involuntary sexual servitude and human trafficking, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.
On Thursday, September 16, members of the Sheriff’s Police Special Victims Unit were in the vicinity were in the vicinity of 5th Avenue and Cicero Avenue in Chicago, a known location for sex trafficking, when they came upon an 18-year-old victim and Kyla Hunter, 22, of the 5500 block of West Gladys Avenue. Due to a prior investigation, SVU members had reason to believe Hunter was trafficking the victim.
SVU members took both Hunter and the victim into custody, and investigators later learned that the victim was a 16-year-old runaway in October 2019 when she met Hunter, who complimented her on her appearance and invited her home.
Hunter established a relationship with the victim, who she knew was a minor, and coerced her to engage in prostitution, keeping the proceeds that the victim received. The abuse continued for about 1-2 weeks, after which the victim left Hunter. In August, the victim and Hunter reconnected, and Hunter again began to have the teen engage in prostitution. All the proceeds were kept by Hunter.
The victim was not charged with prostitution-related crimes but was instead connected with a Sheriff’s Police Victims Service Specialist, who is assisting her with specific needs that she has at this time.
Hunter was charged with two counts of involuntary sexual servitude, a Class 1 felony, and one count of trafficking in persons, a Class 4 felony. She appeared for a bond hearing on Saturday, September 18, where she was issued a $100,000 Deposit Bond. She is currently in custody at the Cook County Jail.
The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.