DeForest, WI

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

DeForest is a village in Dane County, Wisconsin, with a population of approximately 11,000. It is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the area, and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies.  Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking.

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. Demand reduction tactics used in the village include the arrest of sex buyers and the public disclosure of their identities. For example, in October, 2022, a DeForest man was charged with repeated child sexual assault after a 13-year-old girl told police that he used her dependence on nicotine vaping products, which he supplied to her, as leverage to assault her. The complaint filed in Dane County Circuit Court also charged the man with soliciting a child for prostitution and exposing a child to harmful material for the alleged crimes against the girl. The assaults reportedly took place between August and October, 2022, at various locations in DeForest, including village parks and at the suspect’s grandmother’s house. The assaults were brought to the attention of police by a 15-year-old friend of the girl, who told police that the man had offered him at least $500 if he brought girls age 12 and under to him for sexual abuse. That person also told police the man said he “would kill anyone who snitched on him for having sex with minors,” and then would disappear. The girl told a forensic interviewer that the situation began when she gave the man money to buy nicotine vapes for her, because she is too young to buy them herself.  But later, when she no longer had money, he made other demands that included sex.  Interviewed by police, the suspect first denied knowing the girl, but later admitted he did and claimed he had a “pact” with her involving sex for the purchase of nicotine vape products. In Wisconsin, soliciting a child for prostitution carries a maximum 25-year sentence, while exposing a child to harmful material carries a 3½-year maximum sentence.

Key Partners

  • DeForest Police Department
  • Dane County Sheriff’s Office
  • Dane County Circuit Court

Key Sources

Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:

Local Prostitution Ordinances:

Background on Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

  • “Man Pleads No Contest to Rape, Beating Charges,” Madison Capital Times, August 21 1989.
  • “Prostitution Suspect Rams Officer with Car,” Madison Capital Times, June 26 1992.
  • “Officers Hurt in Prostitution Arrests,” Wisconsin State Journal, June 27 1992.
  • “Man Who Fled Police Gets New Trial,” Madison Capital Times, January 13 1995.
  • “Trial in Rape Case Begins, Man Also Accused of Beating Woman,” Madison Capital Times, October 31 2001.
  • “Rape/Beating Trial Produces Starkly Differing Accounts,” Madison Capital Times, November 1 2001.
  • “Close Encounter Ends in Road Rage, Alleged Hooker Fled with Cash,” Madison Capital Times, August 2 2007.
  • “Man Accused of Badger Rd. Rape, Could Get Life Sentence,” Madison Capital Times, August 21 2007.
  • “Prostitutes and Johns Are on Cops’ Radar, Explosion of Illegal Activity along One Section of Badger Road Prompts a Sting Operation,” Wisconsin State Journal, December 2 2007.
State Wisconsin
Type City
Population 10884
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