CLAIRE — Nine people have been arrested in a
child sex trafficking sting in the Eau Claire
area, according to authorities.
released more details about the sting at a Monday
morning press conference. Nine men, ranging in age
from 20 to 60, were arrested on preliminary
charges of use of a computer to facilitate a child
sex crime, attempted child enticement and
attempted second-degree sexual assault of a child,
the La Crosse Tribune (http://bit.ly/1t4JNc8
posed as children looking for sex, or as an adult
wanting to traffic a child for sex through fake
online advertisements, they said. The men were
arrested Thursday and Friday after they responded
to an ad, according to police. One of the men was
a former youth pastor at an Eau Claire church and
another is also facing charges related to the
possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine,
Eau Claire police and sheriff's departments, the
Altoona Police Department and the state Department
of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation
participated in the undercover operation.
of the men are expected to appear in court for the
first time Monday.
the press conference, Robert Powell, special agent
in charge with the state Division of Criminal
Investigation, suggested several ways parents can
help protect their children online. He said
parents should keep computers in a common area of
the house, monitor their children's activity
online and talk to them about Internet safety.
know today these people are still out there,"
Eau Claire County Sheriff Ron Cramer said.
people were arrested in a similar sting last year.
message to the predators is we are monitoring
these sites, and you'll never know who you're
talking to," Cramer said.