Clinton Danner was allegedly pimping his wife on Craigslist for years
The Cook County, Ill., Sheriff is shedding more light on the sordid case of Clinton Danner, a 32-year-old Minneapolis man who faces a felony pandering charge after being arrested in Chicago for pimping his wife on the Internet.
Danner was arrested at a Holiday Inn on Sunday night after police followed him from Florida. He intended to meet his wife at the hotel after a phone call in which he said he was disappointed in the amount of money she had made during the prior weekend.
Sheriff Tom Dart said Danner coerced his wife into prostitution by threatening to take away the couple's 3-year-old child, and that he never left the girl alone with her mother. He would post ads for his wife's services in Craigslist, and that she worked in at least eight states over the course of four years.
Dart said Danner's wife secretly contacted the Polaris Project's national trafficking hotline for help last Thursday. The organization then got in touch with the Cook County Sheriff's Department of Women's Justice Services, and its members then reached out to her.
She was reluctant at first to cooperate with the department, he said, but she changed her mind and helped lead police to her scheduled 10 p.m. rendezvous with Danner.
The woman's parents told the Chicago Sun-Times that Danner met their daughter through a church. He was a 27-year-old counselor and known as a shady character trying to move forward with his life. She was 17. He got her pregnant. A wedding was planned, but never happened.
Danner's parents told WCCO they are shocked by the news and refused to belileve the accusations and charges against him. Neighbors told the station they never suspected anything was wrong.
Dart filed an unsuccessful federal lawsuit against Craigslist last year alleging the site knew it was being used for human trafficking. Even though the suit went nowhere, the site vowed to hire monitors to review ads before they were posted.
"This (lawsuit) was my act of last resort," Dart told CNET last year. "We're seeing some outrageous stuff here that we hadn't seen before. Our people on the street have seen the volume increase. It's become much more complicated for us."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.