3 Types of Human Trafficking in Wisconsin
Current Events as Teaching Tools
In Wisconsin, the average age of entry for a victim of human trafficking is between 12 and 17 years old. Fight to End Exploitation is committed to making sure that young people and those that work with them understand this growing crime. Education remains the number one way to fight against human trafficking.
This week FEE had the opportunity to share our Human Trafficking 101 presentation with 460 ninth grade students at Case High School in Racine, Wisconsin. They heard real case studies from Investigator Neal Lofy, along with the basics (how to identify red flags, and what to do if you need help) from Researcher and Survivor Advocate Rachel Harrison, and Racine PD’s Human Trafficking Support Specialist, and FEE co-founder Karri Hemmig. These students heard from some of the best and most experienced human trafficking experts in the area and they are now ready to join the fight against the exploitation of others, especially teenagers like them!
Ahead of our time together, educators at Case High School asked us what they could share with their students in preparation. We know this is a growing crime, so we shouldn’t come up short for evidence of it. According to the United Stated Department of Health and Human Services:
“After drug dealing, human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today, and it is the fastest growing.” – USDHHS
To really help students relate to human trafficking we wanted to show what it looks like locally. Examples of human trafficking in Wisconsin can be found simply by watching the local news…
3 Types of Human Trafficking Found in Wisconsin
1. Forced Migrant Labor
Fainting and freezing in the fields: Alleged labor trafficking victim tells of mistreatment in Wisconsin, Georgia
By Alexandra Hall and Sarah Whites-Koditschek, Wisconsin Public Radio
MT. PLEASANT — The Borzynski’s Farm Market in Mount Pleasant, Wis., sells produce grown in Wisconsin, including cabbage, sweet corn, leafy greens and green beans. A federal indictment alleges 14 men from Mexico were forced to work illegally in nearby fields owned by the Borzynskis in 2016. The owners of the farm said in a statement that they had no knowledge of the alleged trafficking. Read more…
2. Commercial Sexual Exploitation
Hartford man pleads guilty in federal case involving strip club dancers forced into ‘prostitution dates’
By Katie DeLong, Fox6Now
MILWAUKEE — Christopher Childs pleaded guilty to sex trafficking on Sept. 9, one count of the seven-count indictment to sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion charge for allegations occurring between January 2004 and December 2009, according to the plea agreement. In addition to prison time, Childs faces a maximum fine of $250,000, three years’ maximum of supervised release, mandatory special assessments totaling $5,100, and restitution. The remaining counts were dismissed as a result of the plea deal. According to federal prosecutors, from 2004 through December 2009, Childs operated as a pimp in strip clubs in the Milwaukee area and elsewhere, and he would recruit women, including the victim, along with at least one minor, to work for him. Read more…
3. Indentured Servitude, Forced Bondage
Milwaukee Public School teacher charged with human trafficking and sexual assault now charged with bail jumping’
By James Groh, Tom Durian, WTMJ Milwaukee
WEST ALLIS — Christian Mothershead, 46, of West Allis, was arrested Sept. 7, about a week after he was accused of luring a Filipino woman and her child to the United States and forcing them to clean his filthy home under the threat of not being provided food and water. He’s been charged with two counts of human trafficking and second-degree sexual assault. According to a criminal complaint filed Sept. 12, Mothershead was out on bail on Sept. 7 when the victim received a phone call and recognized Mothershead’s voice saying, “You have to stop what you’re doing.” Read more…
Human trafficking and its root causes are tough topics to tackle; these are not our favorite bedtime stories to tell our kids. Still, we’d rather make sure teenagers have an understanding of what’s out there, and familiar faces they can turn to if they ever need help. We believe in you, Class of 2024!
If you’ve learned something from this article, we hope you will share it with others. Education and awareness continue to be our best weapon in the fight against human trafficking and you can use your voice and social media for good by sharing what you know. Thank you for joining the fight.
You can also donate to support the advocacy, training, and education we provide at no cost to participants, and we thank you for taking this fight seriously by investing in it.
From the Statute: Wisconsin Stat. 948.075 Use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. (1) Whoever uses a computerized communication system to communicate with an individual who the actor believes or has reason to believe has not attained the age of 16 years with intent to have sexual contact or sexual intercourse with the individual in violation of s.948.02(1) or (2) is guilty of a Class C felony.