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Dodge County has a population of roughly 44,000, and is located at the northwest corner of Wisconsin. Its county seat is Superior. Douglas County is included in the Duluth, MN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented throughout Dodge County. For example, in September, 2014, more than 8,000 emails, including pornographic images, helped police arrest a Beaver Dam couple along with 11 Wisconsin men accused of participating in a prostitution operation in several areas of Dodge County. Charges were filed in Dodge County Circuit Court against two individuals for keeping a place of prostitution. The woman and 11 men faced 29 counts relating to prostitution activities. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office had expressed concerns for years about potential sex trafficking in a Clyman strip club, based on numerous public complaints. In March 2018 a man was indicted on federal charges of human trafficking, with the defendant accused of torturing women and forcing them to engage in prostitution. In the criminal complaint, prosecutors allege the man operated out of two Dodge County strip clubs.
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. County agencies have supported demand reduction activities in multiple communities. Demand reduction tactics used in the county include the arrest of sex buyers and the public disclosure of their identities. For example, in September 2014, prompted by community complaints, the Beaver Dam Police Department started investigating claims of a prostitution ring. The undercover investigation culminated with the dismantlement of a prostitution ring, and law enforcement was able to obtain a list of sex buyer names, addresses, and occupations. To deter future patrons of prostitution, the Beaver Dam Police Department released the names and cities of residence of the sex buyers. In October 2014, media outlets reported that at least five men had pled guilty to the charge of “prostitution-sexual gratification,” and at least one was required to pay $1,713 in fines and Dodge County court fees.
In June 2019, a 65-year-old man was found guilty of a misdemeanor offense of prostitution. The Dodge County Circuit Court accepted the man’s plea and sentenced him to fines and court costs adding up to $1,533. According to the criminal complaint, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office had conducted a routine bar check at a strip club in Clyman. The man was observed in a sexual act with a woman in a back room. He initially denied that anything happened between the two, but he later admitted to the act after further questioning by police. The man was fined $250 after enter a guilty plea.
In June 2021, a 46-year-old man was released on a $5,000 bond after making his initial appearance in court for multiple counts of soliciting a child for prostitution. The man was charged with felony counts of child enticement- prostitution and three counts of soliciting a child for prostitution, and was also charged with three misdemeanor charges of sexual intercourse with a child 16 or older. According to the criminal complaint, Beaver Dam Police were called to Marshfield Medical Center in January 2021 after a hospital worker reported a 17-year-old girl was being sex trafficked, paid by a man to perform sexual acts. The girl revealed that the man allegedly was paying her $300 each time he picked her up to rape her. The girl said she was sexually abused at a house in Beaver Dam seven to ten times over the year, and the man had contacted her over social media. The man allegedly admitted giving the girl money between $500 and $1,000, and said he did not expect anything in return. However, when the officers showed him messages between the two, he allegedly admitted they had sex four to five times and he paid the girl $300 each time because that is all he could get out of the ATM machine.
- Dodge County Sheriff’s Office
- Beaver Dam Police Department
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- “Updated: BD Couple Faces Felony Prostitution Charges,” Beaver Dam Daily Citizen, September 5 2014.
- https://www.fdlreporter.com/charges-filed-alleged-dodge-county-prostitution-ring (2014)
- “Additional Man Enters Plea in Prostitution Case,” Beaver Dam Daily Citizen, October 16 2014.
- http://www.kfiz.com/local-news/two-charged-in-clyman-prostitution-case (2018)
- https://madison.com/strip-club-dancer-arrested-for-prostitution-in-dodge-county-sheriff (2018)
- https://www.wiscnews.com/two-face-prostitution-charges-for-incident-at-clyman-strip-club (2018)
- https://dailydodge.com/two-individuals-charged-hardware-store-prostitution-arrests (2018)
- http://www.great98.net/two-arrested-following-prostitution-bust-at-strip-club-in-clyman (2018)
- http://www.washingtoncountyinsider.com/prostitution-arrest-at-gentlemens-club-dodge-countysheriff (2018)
- https://www.wiscnews.com/columbus-man-fined-for-prostitution-offense (2019)
- https://journaltimes.com/dodge-county-man-46-charged-with-paying-teen-girl-for-sex (2021)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
- “Wisconsin Couple Faces Felony Charges,” Madison News, September 5 2014.
- “12 Charged in Dodge County Prostitution Sting,” Fond du Lac Reporter, September 23, 2014.
- https://www.wiscnews.com/presentation-on-the-dangers-of-human-trafficking-to-be-held (2018)
- https://www.tmj4.com/wisconsin-small-towns-battle-strip-clubs (2018)
- https://fox6now.com/state-sen-scott-fitzgerald-wants-to-close-strip-clubs-in-wake-of-charges (2018)
- https://dailydodge.com/human-trafficking-dodge-county-strip-clubs-detailed-federal-complaint (2018)
- https://www.wiscnews.com/dodge-county-sheriff-describes-efforts-to-battle-sex-trafficking (2019)
- https://www.newsbreak.com/watertown-wi/strip-club-manager-sentenced-for-promoting-prostitution (2023)