Oshkosh, 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

Oshkosh is a city of roughly 67,000 residents, located in Wisconsin’s Winnebago County south of Appleton. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been reported in the community since at least the 1970s, if not earlier.

In their efforts to reduce commercial sex and related crimes locally, the Oshkosh Police Department have conducted reverse stings. In 1989 and 1992, OPD female undercover officers posed as decoys in and around an Oshkosh hotel. In both instances, several sex buyers were arrested after offering a decoy money in exchange for sex acts. The Wisconsin State Journal reported that the vehicles of the men arrested had also been seized following both stings. It is unclear if the offenders’ identities were publicized in press at the time of their arrests. More recent operations include a reverse sting in December of 2017, yielding the arrest of three men from Winneconne, Kaukauna and Appleton Wisconsin. Charges were referred to the Winnebago County District Attorney’s Office, and one of the men was also charged with drug possession. The Oshkosh Police Department said that they actively investigate crimes related to prostitution, and the tactics they employ include “measures to reduce the demand.”

Key Partners

  • Oshkosh Police Department

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings, Auto Seizure:

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:

  • “Man Charged with Assault Accuses Victim of Prostitution,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 21 1997.
State Wisconsin
Type City
Population 66607
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