Outagamie County, WI

Tactics Used

Buyer Arrests
Reverse stings
Shaming
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Letters
Cameras
Web stings
License suspension

Outagamie is a county in the northeast region of Wisconsin, located 100 miles north of Milwaukee, and has a population of over 183,000. Appleton is the county seat, and has approximately 73,000 residents. Prostitution and child sex trafficking have been well-documented in Appleton, surrounding communities, and unincorporated areas of the county. To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have targeted underlying demand for commercial sex.

Reverse stings have occurred since at least 2011 in the county, and the identities of those arrested have been released to the public. For example, in 2013 a reverse sting operation that targeted Internet child sex predators led to the arrest of 16 men in six Wisconsin counties: Eight were arrested in Brown County, four in Marathon County, and an undisclosed number of others in Winnebago, Shawano, Outagamie and Door counties. Police had between 1,200 and 1,500 chats with possible suspects during the investigation that ran four days. Officials targeted online ad services as well as social media and other Internet outlets. The arrested men had faced charges including use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime to child enticement, prostitution, and possession of a controlled substance.

John School

The city has established a john school that accepts men arrested in Appleton and neighboring communities (e.g., Eau Claire, LaCrosse).  Upon conviction, the district attorney’s office has agreed to seek probation for the defendants. As a condition of the probation, patrons are sent to a daylong “john school,” where they learn about human trafficking and the societal impact prostitution has on a community.

In 2012, the city held its first john school session, making it one of the newest john school program in the U.S.  The curriculum and its content is modeled on the one-day First Offender Prostitution Program in San Francisco.  The program attempts to teach arrested sex buyers about the community impact of prostitution, dynamics of pimping, effect on prostituted women and girls, health and legal consequences, and sex addiction.  “5-stones” is a nonprofit organization that fights sex trafficking in Wisconsin, and collaborates on the delivery of the john school program.

 

Key Partners

Key Sources

State Wisconsin
Type County
Population 183245
Location
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