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Wisconsin police crack down on prostitution with criminal charges

Northeastern Wisconsin police officers are taking a more assertive stance in stemming local prostitution by targeting both the prostitutes and the customers. They are aggressively referring the patrons, aka johns, for criminal charges.

Grand Chute, Appleton and other police departments would generally issue a citation to alleged prostitutes and customers. However, that practice did very little toward curbing prostitution in those areas. They hope that, by seeking criminal charges, more effective legal intervention could aid both sexes in breaking out of those practices. The recent rise in teenage girls being forced into prostitution was one of the major reasons for this new crackdown on prostitution, according to authorities.

The Outagamie County prosecutor stated that taking a harder approach on customers plus providing job-training options and counseling to prostitutes is their main goal. He is actively seeking a sentence of probation with certain obligations for anyone convicted in this matter. Customers will be sent to what they call "john school" to learn about human trafficking as well as how prostitution impacts the community. The court will order alleged prostitutes to go to therapy and offer them assistance in finding a new way of supporting themselves. Helping these women turn their lives around could be challenging since their pimps habitually control them through domestic abuse and drug addiction. Many of them suffer isolation from their families and are totally dependent on the pimps, making it impossible for them to leave, according to one Appleton police lieutenant.

Undercover operations like these in Wisconsin are an attempt by police to try to catch people who are participating in prostitution. Anyone accused of either prostitution or soliciting a prostitute still has rights. A criminal law attorney who is experienced in sex crime cases may be to offer advice to those accused and possibly negotiate lesser sentences or charges with the prosecution.

Source: Daily Journal , "Police in NE Wis. become more aggressive about referring prostitutes, customers for charges", November 04, 2013

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