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Amery is a city in Polk County, Wisconsin, with a population of approximately 2,800. Prostitution activity has been documented in the region, and Amery residents have also been arrested for prostitution and sex trafficking offenses in other cities. For example, in November, 2016, an Amery resident was one of four men arrested during an undercover sting operation in St. Cloud, MN, which was targeting men who solicited paid sexual abuse of underage girls. All four men faced charges of felony solicitation of a minor. In January, 2018, an Amery man was sentenced in Washington County (MN) District Court for soliciting prostitution after he contacted someone he believed to be a teenager for paid sexual abuse. According to the criminal complaint, police used a classifieds website to post an ad on the women-seeking-men section, posing as a 15-year-old female. The Amery resident responded to the ad asking to meet in person. Police, posing as the girl, told him to meet in an apartment in Woodbury, MN, where he was arrested.
Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and demand reduction tactics – including the arrest of sex buyers and the disclosure of their identities – have been used by local law enforcement agencies. For example, in July, 2016, a rendezvous in Amery facilitated through the online social site “meetme.com” resulted in the arrest of one man and one woman for prostitution and related offenses. The man told authorities he had arranged to meet with the woman on two previous occasions, and both times they agreed that she would provide sex in exchange for money. The man said that he paid up front, and both times the woman ‘disappeared’ with the money, leaving the vehicle and not returning. In an attempt to outsmart the woman and confront her about the thefts, he made arrangements to meet her again, but this time disguised his phone number and his vehicle so that she wouldn’t know who he was. The man also admitted to breaking the passenger door handle so she would not be able to leave the truck and take his money again. The pair arranged to meet in Amery, where he refused to let her out of the vehicle. The woman called 911 to report being kidnapped, and the call prompted the man to let her out of the vehicle along County Road F, and flee toward Clear Lake. Authorities caught up with the man after his pickup was discovered crashed near the intersection of 70th Street and 20th Avenue. He was carrying a firearm and was disarmed at the scene. According to police reports, the woman allegedly admitted to the prostitution activity and was subsequently arrested. The sex buyer was also arrested at the scene for false imprisonment and pandering (soliciting prostitution). The man’s identity was included in news reports.
- Polk County Sheriff’s Office
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.theameryfreepress.com/crime/man-tries-to-outsmart-alleged-prostitute-after-being-ripped-off (2016)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- https://www.wctrib.com/news/litchfield-councilman-arrested-in-child-prostitution-sting (2016)
- https://www.republicaneagle.com/wis-man-sentenced-for-soliciting-prostitution-of-a-minor-in-woodbury (2018)
Local Prostitution Ordinances: