16 arrested in child sex predator sting

Published: May. 31, 2017 at 4:14 PM CDT
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Sixteen people were arrested in a week-long Internet Crimes Against Children task force sting.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice says five of the 16 are registered sex offenders or were previously arrested on suspicion of crimes against children.

The sting, called Operation New Hope, resulted in arrests in 13 counties, including Outagamie (3), Shawano (3), Sheboygan (1) and Winnebago (1).

Charges against the 16 will include child enticement, trafficking a child, attempted sexual assault of a child, possession of child pornography, using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, and exposing a child to harmful material.

Charges filed against defendants in our area, according to online court records:

Outagamie County

Jonathan Herschberger, 35, of Appleton is charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography in Outagamie County.

Scott Lecker, 28, of Shawano is charged with trafficking a child and child enticement to cause a child to engage in prostitution.

Christopher Lutzewitz, 38, of Kaukauna is charged with 25 counts of possession of child pornography.

Shawano County

James Stevens, 43, of Oconto Falls is charged with using a computer to facilitate a sex crime and child enticement with the intent of sexual contact.

Brandon Stewart, 22, of Green Lake, is charged with using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime.

Jeff Vadnais-Speck, 31, Shawano, is charged with child enticement for sexual contact, child enticement to give or sell drugs, and resisting or obstructing an officer.

Sheboygan County

Joseph Cajacob, 36, of Kohler is charged with three counts of causing a child between 13 and 18 years old to view sexual activity.

Winnebago County

Shawn Hanson, 35, of Oshkosh is charged with six counts of exposing a child to harmful material and one count of child enticement with the intent of exposing the pubic area.

The Department of Justice says the sting was made possible through a state law that increased funding for the Internet Crimes Against Children investigative program and created a faster process for obtaining subpoenas.

Thirty local, state and federal law enforcement agencies were involved in the sting, along with Eye Heart World, an advocacy group for victims of human trafficking.

Appleton Police Department

Brown County Sheriff’s Office

Clark County Sheriff’s Office

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office

Dane County Sheriff’s Office

Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office

Eau Claire Police Department

Eye Heart World Victim Advocacy Group

Genoa City Police Department

Green Bay Police Department

Greenfield Police Department

Kohler Police Department

Kronnenwetter Police Department

Lake Geneva Police Department

Madison Police Department

Marathon County Sheriff’s Office

Marquette County Sheriff’s Office

Middleton Police Department

Monona Police Department

Montello Police Department

Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office

Seymour Police Department

Shawano County Sheriff’s Office

Stevens Point Police Department

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Marshals Service

Walworth County Sheriff’s Office

West Milwaukee Police Department

Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office

Wisconsin DOJ Division of Criminal Investigation

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources