Kenosha County, WI — Chrystul Kizer is out of custody after a Chicago-based aid organization posted her $400,000 bond. Kizer, 19, was released from Kenosha County Jail on Monday afternoon. She has been in custody for two years, awaiting trial for the June 2018 shooting death of a man prosecutors admit had been sexually assaulting Kizer and other underage girls.
Beloit, Wisconsin — Employees from jobs spanning multiple industries have received training in spotting the signs of human trafficking in a bid to alert authorities sooner of possible dangerous situations.
Beloit, Wisconsin — With Beloit positioned as a transportation hub near Milwaukee and Chicago, the Beloit Police Department says it is taking steps to combat human trafficking and raise awareness in the community about the problem. “We tell our officers that when they come across someone—especially a young woman or man—who has been battered and is reluctant to talk to police, that is the person they need to spend extra time with,” Police Department Inspector Stigler said. “They need to talk about their background, where they grew up, where they have been and who have they been associated with and who they get money from.”
Green Lake, Wisconsin– The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin has filed charges against Julio Cesar Veleta Veleta, 35, and Amabilio Garcia Rivera, 32, for sex trafficking; sex trafficking by fraud, force and coercion; and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking, according to the criminal complaint.
A new study in Milwaukee shows most of the city and identified hot spots where the crime occurred. From 2013 through 2016 the study examined 340 people ages 25 and younger were confirmed to have been victims of sex trafficking in Milwaukee. 88% of the victims were from the Milwaukee area and 3% were out of state. Although the research was from six years ago, experts believe the information still hold up to be true. Some of the areas are hot spots for other crimes as well.
Brown County, Wisconsin non-profits and lawmakers are working on a bill to help fight human trafficking. The bill has a 5,000 surcharge for men caught buying sex. Human trafficking is growing in Wisconsin with cases being seen in every county in the state. The anti-human trafficking organization Eye Heart World started four-and-a-half years ago and has helped 190 women.
Investigators say Milwaukee, WI. Theodore Givings, 35, was trying to recruit the girl for prostitution and was already trafficking another victim, a woman who was working for him in exchange for cocaine.
The Convergence Resource Center, a faith-based nonprofit organization, offers support to men and women who have experience trauma. The goal is to help them rebuild their lives and there’s a specific focus on helping women and female survivors of human trafficking.
Metal cuffs strained against her ankles as she shuffled down the courthouse hallway of Kenosha, Wis.. She passed her mother, who had grown used to seeing her teen daughter in a jail uniform. She passed the activists, who saw her as a victim of child sex trafficking.
Selah Freedom, a Florida-based charity organization with a mission to end sex trafficking, recently opened its newest, and largest, safe house at an undisclosed Kenosha County, WI location. It will offer a safe residential program for those rescued from sex trafficking, educational planning, job placement, trauma therapy, life skills, and medical assistance.
Dane County, WI Executive Joe Parisi announced that he’s including $80,000 in his 2020 budge to create a new position for Project Respect, a program that helps juvenile and adult survivors of trafficking.
The victims said they met the woman, Kendra Bey, of Milwaukee, WI, when she was a worker at Milwaukee Academy, a treatment facility for adolescent girls, some who are already victims of child sex trafficking.
Christopher Childs, 47, operated as a pimp in the Milwaukee WI. area and elsewhere. Childs recruited adult females and at least one minor female to work for him. Childs pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion. Childs faces at least 15 years and up to life in prison.
Erin Graham, 41, was convicted of several counts of human trafficking after a five-day jury trial in April. Between 2015 and 2017, Graham posted advertisements on Backpage.com and forced the women to engage in sex acts with those who responded to the advertisements.
Calvin Freeman, 41, was charged in Milwaukee County, WI. with human trafficking and battery. After police found that Freeman “has been involved in an extensive human trafficking organization” spanning at least six states and decades — dating back to at least the early 2000s.
“We cannot turn a blind eye to human trafficking. My bill is a commonsense solution to hold countries accountable. Understanding where this money comes from and where it’s going gives countries the ability to crack down on these crimes.
Theresa was blackmailed into prostitution as a teenager by men who had explicit photos of her. “When I learned what had happened to me was called human trafficking and that I wasn’t the only one – that there are hundreds of thousands of ‘Theresa’s’ out there, I couldn’t keep silent anymore.”
“I was born in great sin and that sin followed me for many years of my life,” said Sandra Richardson of Milwaukee, WI. As an early victim of human-trafficking Richardson recalls, “I could have gotten killed but God covered me because He knew I didn’t know better.”
After a five-day trial, a federal jury found Erin Graham, Jr., 27, guilty of seven counts of sex trafficking. The verdict was announced by U.S. Attorney Scott C. Blader for the Western District of Wisconsin.
Two people have been indicted in the case. Christopher Childs, 46, of Hartford, faces federal charges in Milwaukee, WI. of sex trafficking involving force, fraud and coercion and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking. Jennifer Campbell has also been charged with conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking.
Ashwaubenon, WI. Public Safety received a tip from a woman who said she had answered an online ad for modeling. The woman said Meixian Feng asked if she would be willing to “perform sex acts with white men to make money.”The woman said Feng also asked to bring along someone under age 18, for extra pay.”
Sex trafficking survivors and advocates are working across Wisconsin to help communities recognize signs of exploitation, such as tattoos used to brand victims. Nancy Yarbrough is a survivor who started Milwaukee nonprofit Fresh Start Learning, Inc. to provide resources to women and children who are victims of sex trafficking. Yarbrough told Wisconsin Public Radio that tattoos are commonly used in the sex trade to show that a person belongs to a specific trafficker.
Sex trafficking is a market-driven criminal industry based on supply and demand, according to the National Sex Trafficking Hotline. In other words, as long as people are willing to purchase other people for sex, there will be incentive to continue trafficking…It is common for them to target victims on social media. Young people may pour out their heartaches and problems online, creating an easy target for a trafficker.
Forced into a life they never chose, manipulated, abused, and tortured at the hands of the pimps who control them, our country’s children are sold on the streets, on the internet and at truck stops across America every night.
It’s common to conceive of slavery as a thing of the past, but the practice is still affecting millions worldwide. Experts consider human trafficking to be a modern version of slavery, where individuals, especially women and children, are exploited for labor and commercial sex.
State officials say human trafficking is a huge problem and cases have been reported in every Wisconsin county. The Department of Justice is teaming up with the Wisconsin State Patrol, focusing on roadways as a new strategy to crack down.