Wisconsin man sentenced to 27 years in federal prison for sex trafficking


Date: October 21, 2020

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Chief United States District Judge Pamela Pepper sentenced Christopher L. Childs, of Hartford, Wisconsin, to 27 years in prison for sex trafficking.

On October 3, 2019, Childs entered a guilty plea 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). According to court records and filings in the case, Childs: (1) operated as a trafficker in the Milwaukee area and elsewhere since approximately 1996; (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 of prostitution dates to him; and (5) transported victims to strip clubs and other locations inside and outside of Wisconsin, including clubs in Dodge County, Wisconsin, known as TNT and the Hardware Store.

Before imposing sentence, Chief Judge Pepper heard from six of the victims at the hearing or in written impact statements. In imposing sentence, Chief Judge Pepper noted that Childs destroyed and dehumanized others for a feeling of control and for his own financial gain. Chief Judge Pepper explained that this was one of the most serious offenses the court had seen, as Childs victimized "person after person" for an extended period. Chief Judge Pepper also expressed the need for the court's sentence to deter other traffickers from similar conduct.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Dodge County Sheriff's Office, 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, and Wisconsin Department of Justice –Division of Criminal Investigation.

The case has prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Erica J. Lounsberry and Richard G. Frohling.