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‘Discouraging:’ Former Racine County register of deeds charged in illegal sex ring

Tyson Fettes

RACINE COUNTY -- The former Racine County register of deeds is among more than two dozen people facing prostitution charges out of Illinois. Rockford police discovered the illegal sex ring.

Facing two counts each of patronizing a prostitute and soliciting a sex act, Tyson Fettes is one of the 27 accused johns linked to a months-long sex trafficking investigation by the Rockford Police Department.

"We will work as many hours as we need to take over an arrest the johns that are purchasing sex in this community. It's been going on far too long," said Rockford Police Chief Dan O'Shea.

Court documents state Fettes knowingly paid for and engaged in sex acts with two different prostitutes at Chantilly Lace and Exclusive Lingerie Boutique.

Peggy Smith, the owner of Chantilly Lace, is charged with 12 counts of promoting a place of prostitution.

Chantilly Lace

The allegations against Fettes span from March 9 to May 23 of this year. It overlaps with his time in office as the Racine County register of deeds.

Peggy Smith

The news has left residents in the county shocked.

"I think it's a little discouraging. Someone representing our city, our people," said Nikki Carrion, Racine County resident.

Appointed in 2011, Fettes served in the role until April 2019, when he stepped down to work at a local branch of Community State Bank.

"It's just awful that he's part of Racine and he's an official," said Marco Andersen, lives in Racine County.

Fettes was arrested earlier this week and released on bond Wednesday. In Illinois, patronizing a prostitute is considered a felony level offense. If convicted, Fettes could spend multiple years behind bars.

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