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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.
- DeForest Police Department
- Dane County Sheriff’s Office
- Dane County Circuit Court
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
Local Prostitution Ordinances:
Background on Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Young Girls, 15-20, Said Forced into Prostitution in Madison Sauna Bath,” Minneapolis Star-News, January 18 1972.
- “Madison Prostitute Tells Court of Beating,” Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, June 6 1972.
- “2 Charged with Turning Teens into Prostitutes,” Madison Capital Times, March 20 1991.
- “Former Lawmaker, 7 Others Charged in Sex with Girl, 14,” Wisconsin State Journal, March 23 1991.
- “13th Man Faces Teen Sex Count, Girls, 14, Involved in Monthlong Spree,” Wisconsin State Journal, March 26 1991.
- “Teens Detail Paid Sex Encounters, Two Runaways, 14, Testify about Paid Sex Encounters,” Madison Capital Times, March 29 1991.
- “Child Prostitution Ring Suspect Found in Illinois,” Madison Capital Times, April 24 1991.
- “5 Men Arrested in Rape of Girl, 15,” Wisconsin State Journal, June 16 1991.
- “Woman Convicted of Sexual Assault to Minor,” Wisconsin State Journal, October 22 1991.
- “Prostitution Backer Gets 12 Years,” Wisconsin State Journal, January 9 1992.
- “Man Gets Jail in Teen Prostitution Case,” Madison Capital Times, January 23 1992.
- “Man Guilty of Sex Assault,” Madison Capital Times, February 24 1992.
- “Mother Charged in Child Sex Case,” Wisconsin State Journal, April 10 1992.
- “Innocent Plea in Prostitution Case,” Wisconsin State Journal, May 27 1992.
- “2 Charged in Sex for Coke Case,” Madison Capital Times, October 7 1992.
- “Madison Man Charged with Child Enticement,” Wisconsin State Journal, February 28 1996.
- “Man, 27, Charged with Trying to Solicit Boy for Prostitution,” Wisconsin State Journal, September 20 1996.
- “Girl, 17, Arrested in Sex Case,” Madison Capital Times, August 26 1997.
- “Alleged Partner Charged in Teen Prostitution Case,” Wisconsin State Journal, August 29 1997.
- “Men to Be Tried for Allegedly Hiring Juvenile for Sex Acts,” Wisconsin State Journal, October 14 1997.
- “Man Caught in Escort Sting Is Convicted,” Wisconsin State Journal, March 17 1998.
- “Madison Man Gets 10 Months for Soliciting Child for Sex,” Wisconsin State Journal, May 20 1998.
- “‘Stooge’ Sentenced in Teenage Sex Ring,” Madison Capital Times, May 20 1998.
- “Man Ordered to Stand Trial on Child-Prostitution Charge,” Wisconsin State Journal, April 3 1999.
- “Man Gets Eight Years in Prostitution Ruling,” Wisconsin State Journal, October 14 1999.
- “Streetwise in Madison: Adults Often Take Advantage of Homeless Teens and Runaways”, Madison Isthmus, February 27 2009.
- “Police Seeking Man in Child Prostitution Case,” Wisconsin State Journal, June 27 2009.
- “‘Country Cane’ Charged with Child Trafficking,” Wisconsin State Journal, June 28 2009.
- “Madison Woman Convicted of Pimping/Pandering and Multiple Other Crimes,” States News Service, October 18 2012.
- “Madison Woman Convicted of Coercing Learning-Disabled Teen into Prostitution”, Wisconsin State-Journal, October 19 2012.
- “Dane Co. Officials Raise Awareness About Sex Trafficking”, ABC/WKOW-TV 27, January 10 2013.
- “Milwaukee Man Charged with Sex-Trafficking a Minor from Wisconsin to Illinois to Engage in Prostitution,” States News Service, September 17 2013.
- “Man Sentenced for Offering Teen Money for Sex,” Wisconsin State Journal, November 28 2013.
- https://www.wisconsingazette.com/wisconsin-lawmakers-combat-state-s-growing-human-trafficking-problem (2014)
- “Madison Man Convicted of Human Trafficking, Supplying Heroin to Underage Victims,” States News Service, January 30 2015.
- “Lodi Man Indicted on Sex Trafficking Crimes,” Wisconsin State Journal, January 20 2016.
- https://disparitydialogue.journalism.wisc.edu/2018/12/06/its-sex-trafficking-not-prostitution-and-its-happening-here/ (2018)
- https://www.channel3000.com/madison-man-sentenced-to-25-years-for-sex-trafficking (2019)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Increase in Prostitution a Problem for Madison,” Milwaukee Sentinel, June 17 1980.
- “Focus Is on Arrest of Men,” Milwaukee Sentinel, December 7 1981.
- “Pruning Roots of Prostitution,” Milwaukee Journal, August 18 1989.
- “Police Clean up Downtown; Prostitution Serious Problem in 1970s, ’80s,” Wisconsin State Journal, April 17 1995.
- “Prostitution on the Wane,” Madison Capital Times, October 13 1995.
- “Prostitution Reports Double This Year in City,” Madison Capital Times, November 2 1999.
- “South Side Arrests Part of Crackdown on Drugs, Prostitution,” Wisconsin State Journal, May 7 2001.
- “Madison Has Jurisdiction to Prosecute Prostitution Advertisements Online,” Wisconsin State Journal, April 22 2010.
- “Sex for Sale,” Madison Isthmus, August 6 2010.
- “Police Search Massage Parlor Officials Investigating Possible Prostitution at Madison Business,” Wisconsin State Journal, October 21 2010.
- “When Sex Ruled the Square,” Madison Isthmus, November 1 2013.
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.