Oneida County, WI

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Cameras
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
Letters
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Oneida County, Wisconsin has a population of about 35,000 and its county seat is the city of Rhinelander. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well documented problems within the county, and to address them, efforts to hold sex buyers accountable have been pursued. For example, in October of 2014, two men were arrested in Oneida County during Operation Aegis. The operation was held October 9 through October 11, targeting people trying to solicit children for sexual abuse. In June 2016, the Wisconsin ICAC Task Force engaged in Operation New Hope, a one-week enforcement effort that included participation from over 40 Wisconsin agencies, including the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office.  The local component was part of the nationwide Operation Broken Heart.  The national crackdown targeted offenders who: (1) possess, manufacture, and distribute child pornography; (2) engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes; (3) engage in the commercial sexual exploitation of children (commonly referred to as child prostitution), and (4) engage in child sex tourism (traveling abroad for the purpose of sexually abusing foreign children).  The Wisconsin ICAC Task Force made 87 arrests of suspected child predators and 129 community presentations on Internet safety.  Nationally, the operation resulted in 1,368 arrests and the task forces conducted about 2,300 presentations. In October 2016, a 35-year-old man was arrested while trying meet an underage person for sex. The suspect had responded to an online ad placed by the Oneida County Internet Crimes against Children Task Force. The Oneida County Sheriff’s Department has conducted joint stings with other agencies, but conducted this sting on their own.

Loss of employment is another consequence of buying sex that has occurred within the county. In January, 2021, an Oneida County corrections officer (CO) resigned his position after prosecutors charged him with soliciting prostituted women and misconduct in office. He allegedly traded information about drug investigations for sexual favors from an incarcerated woman drug dealer. He was arrested in January by the Department of Justice-Division of Criminal Investigations and Oneida County investigators. After his arrest, an Oneida County Circuit Judge set a $1,000 cash bond for the CO during his initial court appearance. He resigned from his job later that same day, according to the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office. The filed criminal complaint stated that on in January 2018 a 31-year-old inmate told a corrections sergeant that the CO agreed to give her information about the Northcentral Drug Enforcement Group in exchange for sexual favors. The group is a drug task force that includes multiple police agencies including the sheriff’s office and the Rhineland Police Department. The criminal complaint showed the CO had previous sexual contact with females who had been incarcerated. The Oneida County Circuit Judge agreed to amend the solicitation charge to a misdemeanor count of lewd and lascivious behavior and dismiss the misconduct charge as part of a plea agreement. The offender was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and thus avoid prison time after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors.

 

Key Partners

  • Oneida County Sheriff’s Office
  • Oneida County Internet Crimes against Children Task Force
  • Oneida County Circuit Court
  • Wisconsin ICAC Task Force
State Wisconsin
Type County
Population 35998
Location
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