Sex Trafficking Not Uncommon in Northeast WI - WBAY

Sex Trafficking Not Uncommon in Northeast WI

Updated:
Appleton -

Plymouth Police continue to investigate a possible case of sex trafficking after they arrested two men yesterday. The arrests came after a teenage girl from Milwaukee was found wandering the streets. She told police she had been held against her will. And while cases like this involving underage teens are rare, sex trafficking is nothing new and it's on the rise.

Underage sex trafficking cases, like the one suspected in Plymouth, are not very common in northeast Wisconsin. But when it comes to cases of adults, we're told they're becoming more prevalent.

Lt. Steve Elliott with the Appleton Police Department says, "The incident such as we saw in Plymouth occurs infrequently thankfully and we have had a few similar juvenile arrests in the valley, but primarily we're arresting adult prostitutes, adult johns and adult pimps."

Steve Elliott is with the Community Resource Unite of the Appleton Police Department. He says while the Internet has made it much easier for sex trafficking or in simple terms prostitution to take place, it's much harder to detect.

According to Elliott, "It's difficult to see particularly because this is advertised on the Internet. And it's not something that happens out on the streets. We don't see street walkers because they don't have to do that anymore and so it's something that's very difficult to uncover."

And while Lt. Elliott says investigators specifically try to seek out underage prostitutes, because they're the most vulnerable, police often come across sex trafficking cases while investigating other crimes.

Elliott says, "Many pimps are not just involved with trafficking of women or prostitutes. They're involved in drug dealing and other illegal activities, so as we investigate other types of street crimes we often find out that this is another type of crime that they're involved in."

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