Waukesha, 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

Waukesha is a city of approximately 71,000 residents, located in southeastern Wisconsin.  The city is known to have prostitution issue over the past 10 years, particularly hotel-based prostitution advertised via the internet, generating complaints to police.  There have also been documented prostitution-related assaults with dangerous weapons, and sex trafficking activity within Waukesha County.  Waukesha police reported that extensive investigations have occurred after information was provided to the Waukesha Police Department anonymously through Crime Stoppers of Waukesha County regarding possible prostitution and human trafficking.

Most of the responses have been focused on arresting those being sold for sex, but since about 2010, local operations have also addressed demand.  The Waukesha Police Department has conducted reverse stings in the city.  A web-based operation was conducted in March 2012, in which officers placed ads online in order to arrest men seeking sex in exchange for money. After setting up the deals, the men would meet a police decoy at a Waukesha hotel, where they were arrested.  Three male sex buyers were arrested as a result, all of whom had their names and other identifying information released to the public.

Some arrests of sex buyers in Waukesha have been the product of investigations of allegations against real victims, rather than stings using police decoys.  For example, in June, 2017, Waukesha police responded to the 900 block of Pleasant Street for a report of a stabbing. A 70-year-old man  was stabbed by a woman in the left shoulder with a knife, and the woman who stabbed him faced criminal charges of prostitution and first-degree reckless endangering safety. After meeting in Waukesha, the two agreed to have sex for money. After the encounter, the woman asked for money and edible panties. The man agreed to pay her two dollars in quarters but stopped short of giving her the edible panties, the complaint stated. The man refused to give her a pair and a physical altercation ensued in which the woman reached for her knife and stabbed the man before leaving the apartment. Both were arrested and charged with prostitution, among other things.

Key Partners

  • Waukesha Police Department

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Background on Violence Occurring in Prostitution:

State Wisconsin
Type City
Population 71256
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