16 Child Sexual Predators & Traffickers Arrested in Operation New Hope
MADISON, Wis. – Today, Attorney General Brad Schimel announced that the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force arrested 16 alleged child sex predators and child sex traffickers during Operation New Hope, a week-long operation focused on child exploitation and online crimes in Wisconsin.
“I spent a large part of my career prosecuting sensitive crimes against children, and I swore to continue protecting Wisconsin’s children when I became Attorney General,” said Attorney General Schimel. “ICAC operations like Operation New Hope bring together committed law enforcement and victim advocacy groups to stop the sexual exploitation and abuse of children. Thanks to our DOJ ICAC team and partners across the state and nation, 16 predators are behind bars, ensuring children in Wisconsin are that much safer.”
Law enforcement officers made sixteen arrests in the following counties: Brown, Clark, Columbia, Dane, Eau Claire, Marquette, Outagamie, Rock, Shawano, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, and Winnebago. Five individuals arrested during Operation New Hope were registered sex offenders or had previously been arrested for internet crimes against children-related crimes. Charges against those arrested included: possession of child pornography; exposing a child to harmful material; child enticement; use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime; attempted sexual assault of a child; causing a child to view sexual activity; and trafficking of a child.
The investigation of so many cases in one week would not have been possible without Alicia’s Law, legislation authored by Senator Van Wanggaard and Representative Joel Kleefisch and passed by the Wisconsin State Legislature last session. Alicia’s Law provides additional funding to the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) program and created an administrative subpoena process that expedites the procedure for finding the location of suspected internet sex predators.
Operation New Hope included participation from more than 30 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and advocacy groups. Those organizations are:
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
The ICAC Task Force Program was launched in 1998 to help federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative responses to individuals who use the Internet, online communication systems, or computer technology to exploit children, to date, the ICAC Task Forces have reviewed more than 611,000 complaints of child exploitation, which resulted in the arrest of more than 66,000 individuals. In addition, since the ICAC program’s inception, more than 535,000 law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and other professionals have been trained on techniques to investigate and prosecute ICAC-related cases. ICAC is also provides online safety training for parents, teachers, and communities through educational programming and the Protect Kids Online Podcast. For more information on ICAC and how to protect children online, go to: www.ProtectKidsOnlineWI.gov.
Attached are booking photos of those arrested during Operation New Hope. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.