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Press Release

Rhinelander Man Sentenced to 25 Years’ Imprisonment for Child Sex Trafficking

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

United States Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that on September 21, 2022, Paul S. Osterman (age: 36) of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison by Senior District Judge William C. Griesbach

Osterman previously pled guilty to “sex trafficking of a child under the age of 14 years-old” in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1591(a)(1). Osterman used social media applications and public wi-fi “hotspots” to communicate with children, often requesting to exchange money for sexual acts. In July 2019, Osterman travelled from his home in Rhinelander to the south side of Chicago, where he lured a minor with whom he had been communicating online into his vehicle. He then engaged in sexual acts with the child in exchange for money. Further investigation revealed that Osterman attempted or performed sexual acts with several minors throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota.     

At the sentencing hearing, Judge Griesbach noted the horrendous nature of the crime and the strong need to deter Osterman from engaging in further abuse. The judge noted that Osterman’s crimes were not made in haste and that Osterman had “committed despicable acts over a lengthy period of time.” Upon the completion of his federal prison sentence, the defendant will serve the remainder of his life on supervised release. He will also be required to register as a sexual offender under state and federal law.

This case was investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Abbey M. Marzick and Daniel R. Humble.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006, by the U.S. Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit


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Updated September 22, 2022