Elkhorn, WI

Tactics Used

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

Elkhorn is a city in Wisconsin with the population of just under 10,000 residents. Prostitution has generated complaints to local law enforcement, and in at least one instance, those who purchased commercial sex were investigated and arrested.  In November 2017 Elkhorn police arrested eight men for purchasing sex.  The investigation that led to the arrests was not a traditional reverse sting operation involving the use of a female police officer as a decoy. Instead, the investigation began with complaints from residents leading to discovery of a person who had been engaged in prostitution for several years.  Police found a client list, and conducted further steps in the investigation to corroborate this evidence and develop probable cause that the men had engaged in the criminal activity.  Demand Forum has classified the investigation and enforcement action resulting in the arrest of sex buyers as a reverse sting for the purposes of this website’s objective of documenting proactive efforts to  punish and deter sex buyers.  The eight men, including one former police officer, were charged with prostitution in Walworth County Court. The eight men allegedly met with an Elkhorn woman, who told police she has been prostituting herself out of her home for years.  She told police she started having sex with men for money about 10 years previously, and had three regular customers who visit one or more times per week and pay about $50 each time.  Police reviewed the woman’s cellphone and spoke with eight men police say met with her.  Some said they met her online at plentyoffish.com or backpage.com. One had been with her as recently as the morning he was interviewed by police, according to the complaint.

Key Partners

  • Elkhorn Police Department
  • Walworth County Court
State Wisconsin
Type City
Population 9853
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