STAR JOURNAL REPORT
Thirteen Vilas County men were among 25 arrests throughout the state announced by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Sept. 14.
Attorney General Brad Schimel said the individuals were apprehended by Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Human Trafficking Bureau agents in sting operations to arrest sex traffickers, “johns” and child abusers in July and August.
“The only reason human trafficking exists is because there is a demand for buying sex. Those creating the demand – the johns who buy victims and the pimps who are exploiting them – are not safe to exploit and coerce people in our state,” said Attorney General Schimel. “When I was sworn in as attorney general, I put johns on notice. We are coming for you, and for some – we already got you. DOJ’s Human Trafficking Bureau’s arrests this summer will not be the last.”
Operations in northern and eastern Wisconsin targeted those seeking children for sexual purposes and individuals soliciting prostitutes. Some of the arrested were knowingly seeking 14- and 15-year old children for sexual purposes. Charges include soliciting a prostitute, pandering, soliciting a child for prostitution, attempted second-degree sexual assault of a child, child enticement, using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, exposing a child to harmful material and exposing a child to harmful narrations.
“This investigation is a great example of local agencies working with Wisconsin DOJ-DCI, in a joint investigation and managing an operation targeting human trafficking in our state,” said Vilas County Sheriff Joseph Fath. “This operation was coordinated in a very smooth and organized manner. The results were very successful and all of our staff working with DOJ came away with a lot of knowledge that can be used in future investigations.”