Elkhorn, 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

Elkhorn is a city in Walworth County, Wisconsin, located 40 miles southwest of Milwaukee. Its population is approximately 10,000 residents. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city. Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has been targeted by local law enforcement agencies. 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.  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 trading 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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