Monona, 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

Monona is a city of approximately 8,000 residents, located in Dane County, Wisconsin. The community is completely surrounded by the city of Madison and is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area.  Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities.  This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is violence against people engaged in prostitution. For example, in December 2018, a man and woman were arrested following a stabbing and armed robbery in Monona. One suspect told police the man agreed to pay her for sex and then later refused to pay her all that was owed. The man alleged he had consensual sex with the suspect and she pulled a knife on him when he went to drop her off, and she then demanded money. The man then drove to an ATM and withdrew money. The man stated the suspect made him drive over to the gas station to withdraw more money. She then stabbed him in the hand as they argued in his vehicle. The woman was arrested for armed robbery, false imprisonment, prostitution and injury by negligent handling of a weapon. The man was also arrested for prostitution.

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.  To identify and apprehend local sex buyers driving the prostitution and sex trafficking markets, the Monona Police Department Dane County Sheriff’s Office (as well as other state, local, adn federal agencies) have collaborated to conduct reverse stings. For example, in August 2017 a reverse sting operation was coordinated with the National Johns Suppression Initiative (NJSI), which started in Cook County Illinois in 2011. The 2017 NJSI operation occurred between June 28 and July 31, and involved 37 law enforcement agencies across 17 states. The goal was to cut consumer-level demand and therefore lower the number of people solicited for sex, targeting sex buyers and directing victims to support resources in the community. One month after the Brown County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of 35 men for sex trafficking, officials announced the results of another similar operation.  In September 2017, the Wisconsin Department of Justice conducted a summer operation in northern and eastern regions of the state that led to 25 arrests. The Attorney General announced that the stings targeted people who solicited sex from either children or prostitutes, including eight in Door County. The identities of the arrested men were publicly released. To continue efforts to combat the problem, the AG’s office created the Human Trafficking Bureau in 2017, which coordinates statewide operations intended to identify and prosecute these offenses. Suspects from Door and Sheboygan Counties that had been charged were identified in news releases.

In December, 2018, a sex buyer was arrested and his identity publicized after an incident in which the buyer was stabbed by a prostituting woman after the man allegedly refused to pay her.

Key Partners

  • Monona Police Department
  • Dane County Sheriff’s Office
  • Door County District Attorney
  • Door County Sheriff’s Office
  • Sheboygan County District Attorney
  • Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office
  • Sheboygan Falls Police Department
  • U.S. Marshals
  • Wisconsin State Patrol
State Wisconsin
Type City
Population 8104
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