Appleton, WI

Tactics Used

Buyer Arrests
Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Appleton is a city of approximately 74,000 residents, located 100 miles north of Milwaukee in Outagamie County, Wisconsin.  Prostitution and child sex trafficking have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities. To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have targeted underlying demand for commercial sex. At least two reverse stings have occurred in the city, in 2011 and 2013. The identities of those arrested were released to the public.

In October 2016, Appleton Police made multiple arrests during a nationwide human trafficking and prostitution sting. The investigation resulted in 12 men being referred to the Outagamie County District Attorney’s Office on prostitution charges. Not many details about the investigation were released, but the Appleton Police worked with the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation.

John School

The city has established a john school that accepts men arrested in Appleton and neighboring communities (e.g., Eau Claire, LaCrosse). Upon conviction, the district attorney’s office has agreed to seek probation for the defendants. As a condition of the probation, patrons are sent to a daylong “john school,” where they learn about human trafficking and the societal impact prostitution has on a community.

In 2012, the city held its first john school session, making it one of the newest john school program in the U.S. The curriculum and its content were modeled on the one-day First Offender Prostitution Program in San Francisco. The program attempts to teach arrested sex buyers about the community impact of prostitution, dynamics of pimping, effect on prostituted women and girls, health and legal consequences, and sex addiction. “5-stones” is a nonprofit organization that fights sex trafficking in Wisconsin, and collaborates on the delivery of the john school program.

Key Partners

Key Sources

Reverse Stings with Shaming:

Brothel Busts Resulting in John Arrests and Shaming:

John School:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Wisconsin
Type City
Population 74139
Comments are closed.