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Press Release

Judge Sentences Milwaukee Man to 45 Years’ Imprisonment for Sex Trafficking

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

Richard G. Frohling, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on October 4, 2021, Calvin C. Freeman, Jr. was sentenced to a term of 45 years’ imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release after being convicted of 14 federal crimes, including sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion, interstate transportation for prostitution, interstate transportation of a minor for criminal sexual activity, possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon, as well as obstruction and contempt of court.

In announcing the sentence, Chief United States District Judge Pamela Pepper recounted the decades of violence that Freeman inflicted on his victims. She cited many examples of his tactics, including incidents in which Freeman slammed one of his victims into a bathtub, put a cigarette out on a victim’s face, beat a victim with an iron, and forced a victim to continue walking the street looking for prostitution dates immediately after she had been violently raped and robbed. Judge Pepper also described Freeman’s disturbing pattern of beating his victims with a belt, noting that those beatings often left the imprint of Freeman’s designer belt buckle on their bodies. She noted that while the violence itself was “ugly” and “vicious,” the fact that Freeman used this violence to compel women to engage in commerce sex acts for his profit made it all the more egregious.

Chief Judge Pepper rejected Freeman’s arguments that his conduct was the result of his upbringing or that his victims had voluntarily entered the lifestyle and thus knew what they were signing up for. She described Freeman’s conduct as “the most heinous” example of sex trafficking she had ever seen in her career.

 “The 45-year sentence reflects Mr. Freeman’s relentless criminal activity and his willingness to abuse and dehumanize others for his own financial benefit,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Frohling. “Mr. Freeman’s conviction and sentence were the direct result of the courage and resilience shown by his victims in agreeing to testify to the abuse they suffered at his hands. Today’s sentence stems from their resolve and from the extraordinary efforts of law enforcement and the prosecution team in this case.”

“Let this 45 year prison sentence send a strong message to those who prey on victims of sex trafficking using violence and manipulation,” said Special Agent in Charge Hughes. “The FBI will utilize all resources available to bring violent offenders to justice, and provide help for victims through our Victim Assistance Program.”

Special Agent in Charge Kathy A. Enstrom stated, “The FDIC OIG’s investigation of the financial crimes in this case led to the discovery of the human trafficking ring in the Milwaukee area. Due to the diligence of the investigative team and the courage of the witnesses, Mr. Freeman was brought to justice. We appreciate the cooperation of our law enforcement partners in the investigation and prosecution of this case.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation– Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG), and the Milwaukee Police Department investigated the case with the assistance of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the Philadelphia Police Department, and the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Erica J. Lounsberry and Julie F. Stewart prosecuted the case.

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Updated October 12, 2021