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Press Release

Hartford Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking and Faces a Minimum of 15 Years in Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Wisconsin

United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger announced that on October 3, 2019, Christopher L. Childs (age 47), of Hartford, Wisconsin, entered a guilty plea before United States District Judge Pamela Pepper to one count of sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1591(a)(1) & 1591(b)(1). 

In a written plea agreement filed in the case, Childs acknowledged he: (1) operated as a pimp in the Milwaukee area and elsewhere; (2) recruited adult females and at least one minor female to work for him; (3) caused the females to perform prostitution dates using fraud, coercion, and, at times, force and threats of force; (4) required his victims to provide the proceeds to him; and (5) transported victims to strip clubs and other locations inside and outside of Wisconsin, including clubs known as TNT and the Hardware Store.           

As part of his plea agreement, Childs agreed that in addition to the individual victim identified in the count of conviction, five other women described in a Second Superseding Indictment filed in the case could be considered victims for sentencing purposes.

Judge Pepper scheduled the sentencing hearing for May 21, 2020.  At sentencing, Childs faces at least 15 years and up to life in prison.  Childs also faces a fine of up to $250,000 and will be required to complete a term of supervised release following his release from federal prison. 

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Dodge County Sheriff’s Office, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, Racine Police Department, United States Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General, Hartford Police Department, United States Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, Federal Deposition Insurance Corporation – Office of Inspector General, Milwaukee Police Department, Watertown Police Department, and Wisconsin Department of Justice –Division of Criminal Investigation.

The case has been assigned to Assistant United States Attorneys Erica J. Lounsberry and Richard G. Frohling for prosecution.  

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Updated October 3, 2019