FOND DU LAC, Wis. - Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul on Friday, Aug. 27 announced the arrests of five Wisconsin men for solicitation of prostitution.
The arrests came after a coordinated undercover human trafficking operation in Fond du Lac the previous night.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office coordinated on the operation targeting sex buyers.
"Our outstanding Human Trafficking Bureau works to combat human trafficking, including by investigating and arresting individuals who drive the demand for this outrageous criminal activity by soliciting commercial sex," said Kaul. "The Wisconsin Department of Justice is committed to fighting human sex trafficking and to providing support services to survivors."
"Some believe sex trafficking is a ‘victimless crime,’ but the reality of this heinous crime is quite the opposite," said Fond Du Lac County Sheriff Ryan Waldschmidt. "We know that most victims of sex trafficking are forced to participate by others through violence, intimidation, and coercion, and are repeatedly exploited over and over again. Unfortunately, Fond du Lac is not immune to the trade and sale of human beings for sex, but working together with other local and state agency partners, we continue to detect and hold accountable those who perpetuate this crime, and rescue victims trapped in this trade."
As in any criminal proceeding, the individuals arrested are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Human trafficking resources
If you or someone you know needs immediate help, call 911.
For more information about human trafficking, including how to identify signs of human trafficking, victim services, statutes and industry-specific materials, visit BeFreeWisconsin.com.
Visit the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families’ "WI, We Need to Talk" website for resources to promote dialogue between adults, parents and children about youth sex trafficking.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline also assists victims and accepts tips 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 1-888-373-7888.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTip reporting can be made online. – 1-800-THE-LOST.