Manitowoc County, WI

Tactics Used

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

Manitowoc County is a county of approximately 82,000 residents, located in eastern Wisconsin. Local law enforcement and residents have reported problems related to prostitution in the area for decades, and several cases of sex trafficking and/or child sexual exploitation have been documented in the county. For example, in May 2014, a 17-year-old female trafficking victim was discovered during a routine traffic stop in nearby Sheboygan County. After being taken into protective custody, the girl reported she had been trafficked and forced to engage in sexual acts for money in the Manitowoc County town of Schleswig. Using this information, officers with the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department then arrested the victim’s adult trafficker as well as the sex buyer responsible for assaulting her. Both of the men’s names and arrest photos were released to the public. In April 2010, MCSO officers conducted a small-scale web sting targeting johns. Law enforcement reviewed adult classifieds on Craigslist, and identified an individual attempting to purchase sex. Officers then posed as a decoy prostituted woman, and arranged to meet the man in the town of Cleveland. Once he arrived at the specified location, the john was promptly arrested. His name and arrest photo were released to the public.

Key Partners

  • Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department
State Wisconsin
Type County
Population 81442
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