More than two dozen people were arrested during a statewide anti-human trafficking and sexual predator sting in July and August, the Wisconsin Department of Justice said Thursday.
Dozens of agencies took part in the sting, including sheriff's and police departments in Northeast Wisconsin.
The 25 arrests made included those for sex trafficking, child abusers and "johns," or people who are soliciting sex.
Three of those arrests were made in Northeast Wisconsin, including one in Door County and two in Sheboygan County.
“The only reason human trafficking exists is because there is a demand for buying sex. Those creating the demand – the johns who buy victims and the pimps who are exploiting them – are not safe to exploit and coerce people in our state,” said Attorney General Schimel.
One in six missing children will be forced in human trafficking, according to Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel.
It's hard to track and complex because trafficking happens mainly on the internet and victims are not doing it voluntarily.
"We struggle with people confusing the old, traditional idea of prostitution with human trafficking," Schimel explained. "Gone are the days when most prostitution was with individuals walking on streets, standing at street corners and flagging down cars."
Authorities said the people arrested were charged with soliciting a prostitute, soliciting a child for prostitution, sexual assault of a child and using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime.
The state is also starting a new human trafficking bureau with special agents to provide resources to communities across the state.
The bureau would also help victims with long-term care.