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Police plan crackdown on online prostitution

JANESVILLE, Wis. (AP) — Janesville police plan a crackdown on online sex trafficking following the arrest of two people accused of forcing a 16-year-old runaway into prostitution.

A man accused of acting as the girl’s pimp posted notices online offering sex with multiple women, according to court documents.

Deputy Chief Dan Davis told The Janesville Gazette that police will contact women advertising online and offer to connect them with social services that can help them get out of prostitution. If the program is not effective, then police will “go to Plan B,” he said.

“I can’t promise you that no one will ever get arrested, (but) arrests are a long way from our primary objective at this point,” Davis said.

Davis and Rock County District Attorney David O’Leary also said they would be more aggressive in any cases involving juveniles.

“In the case of using children, you have my full and undivided attention as a prosecutor,” O’Leary said.

Davis said he wasn’t aware of any juveniles — other than the 16-year-old runaway — who had been identified as prostitutes thus far.

He said police also are mindful that while it is easy to identify prostitutes through their online ads, the men paying them for sex are equally guilty of committing crimes.

On Tuesday, officers arrested an 87-year-old man they believe has been photographing nude women and paying some for sex for decades.

It will be up to O’Leary’s office to file formal charges in that case.

Davis said the arrest followed an investigation that began in April when the man told police he had been robbed at a storage building. A neighbor told investigators the man had been photographing naked women in the building. When police interviewed the man again, he admitted taking the photographs and paying for sex, Davis said.

Some women learned by word of mouth that the man would pay them to pose. In other cases, the man tracked down women who had been ordered to pay fines for crimes and offered to pay the debt if they would be photographed, Davis said.

Information from: The Janesville Gazette,

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