WAUSAU - More people, including children, could be forced into prostitution.
Officials in Marathon county worry sex trafficking is growing in Wisconsin.
But a new bill could help police crack down on sex traffickers.
People often think human trafficking involves kidnapping and being sold into prostitution.
But experts say that isn't always like that.
They believe more people are being tricked into prostitution.
Some could be tricked by advertisements promising money in exchange for things like modeling.
"These kids many times get involved in this, get hooked on drugs. Then with people threatening them either for their own safety, or withholding drugs from them, threatening their families or their parents, they end up staying in this atmosphere," said Sen. Jerry Petrowski, (R) Marathon.
Officials believe sex trafficking has become a big problem because it's difficult to prosecute the right people.
The victims are often wrongly charged for prostitution.
Some lawmakers believe a new sex trafficking bill will ease penalties for victims and crack down on traffickers.
The bill changes the definition of trafficking so prosecutors won't have to prove a victim didn't give consent.
"It also allows someone that has been charged prior with prostitution as being a victim to be able to expunge those records. A lot of time people are dragged into this and there's no way they can get out, especially if they're very young people," said Petrowski.
The bill will let the state use assets, like property used in sex crimes, as evidence in court.
Victims will also have better confidentiality.
Officials hope that will get them to help prosecutors put traffickers in jail.
|Story By: Karolina Buczek