Janesville, 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

Janesville is a city of about 64,000 residents situated along Interstate 34, south of Madison, Wisconsin.  Certain areas of the city have been known to experience prostitution activity. In recent years, local law enforcement agencies have reported substantial commercial sex activity with an increased use of web advertising to solicit prostitution.  In September, 2022, a local man was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison on after being convicted for sex trafficking, accused of exploiting an adult and 16-year-old, both struggling with addiction, to participate in commercial sex for his financial gain. Officials alleged in some cases he withheld heroin to compel the victims to engage in prostitution. He was convicted of: sex trafficking; maintaining a property for the purposes of distributing and using controlled substances; and having committed sex trafficking of a minor while being a person previously convicted of a crime that required registering as a sex offender. The case was investigated by Janesville Police Department, Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation and the Rock County Sheriff’s Office.Cases of sex trafficking of minors have also been documented in the city, as well the murder of prostituted women.

While most attempts to address these issues have targeted prostituted women, some efforts have been made to deter and arrest sex buyers.  In 2007-2008, when individuals were seen engaged in prostitution is a Janesville park, residents recorded license plate numbers of suspicious vehicles and forwarded them to the Janesville Police Department. Police then sent the owners letters urging them to alert authorities if they see solicitation occurring in the park. JPD officers also posted notices on websites announcing that they planned to conduct anti-prostitution operations targeting johns in the near future. Similarly, following a case reported in January 2014 involving a 16-year-old sex trafficking victim, police stated that they were trying to track down the sex buyers.  Buyers have also been arrested in raids of local brothels.  Also in January 2014, in a separate case, Janesville police arrested an elderly man who they believed had been taking photographs of nude women for decades in a storage building on Delavan Drive.  Police also allege that the man of paying some of those women for sex.  After presenting their accumulated evidence and consulting with the district attorney’s office, police arrested the man on felony charges of soliciting for prostitution and maintaining a place of prostitution.  The two sex buyers arrested in January 2014 were identified in media reports.

In March 2019, Janesville police arrested three men on suspicion of pandering in an effort to reduce human trafficking in the area. During the operation, 25 to 30 men responded to an ad and reached out to request sex acts from undercover police. Authorites arrested three men on suspicion of pandering after the men showed up at the hotel. All three were arrested and faced misdemeanor charges, and were taken into custody at the Rock County Jail. The men were all identified in news releases, and were tentatively charged with misdemeanor pandering, and one was booked into the Rock County Jail on a parole violation. The sting took place at a hotel on Midland Road, with the hotel providing three rooms for free to the police.  Agencies taking part in the sting included the Janesville, Beloit, Clinton and town of Beloit Police Departments, the Rock County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office, the Janesville Fire Department and the Division of Criminal Investigation of the Wisconsin Department of Justice.


Key Partners

  • Janesville Police Department
  • Rock County Sheriff’s Office
  • Clinton Police Department
  • Beloit Police Department
  • District Attorney’s Office
  • Janesville Fire Department
  • Wisconsin Department of Justice
    • Division of Criminal Investigation
  • Community members providing tips to police
  • Hotels providing space for reverse stings

Key Sources

Arrest of Sex Buyers:

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:


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:

State Wisconsin
Type City
Population 64415
Comments are closed.