Ten arrested in online prostitution sting in Eau ClaireTen men - responding to an online advertisement posted by police - were arrested at an Eau Claire hotel last week for pandering after agreeing to pay women money for sexual gratification, officials said Wednesday.
By: By Christena T. O'Brien, The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis., Superior Telegram
Ten men - responding to an online advertisement posted by police - were arrested at an Eau Claire hotel last week for pandering after agreeing to pay women money for sexual gratification, officials said Wednesday.
The men were arrested April 24 and 25 during an undercover police operation at The Plaza Hotel & Suites, 1202 W. Clairemont Ave., where they agreed to meet the women, according to information released by the Eau Claire Police Department.
The arrests were part of a one-year investigation, which involves men and women involved in prostitution through Internet-based advertisements, which police have been monitoring, Detective Lt. Matt Rokus said.
Pandering, according to state law, is the solicitation of another to have nonmarital sexual intercourse or to commit an act of sexual gratification in public or in private.
"Prostitution poses significant public health and quality of life issues," Rokus said. "Human trafficking is often related to this activity as well as other serious crimes," including drug use.
The misdemeanor charge of pandering carries a maximum penalty of nine months in jail and a $10,000 fine, Eau Claire County District Attorney Brian Wright said.
The following were arrested in the sting -- some within minutes of each other, according to police arrest logs: Cody A. Biseck, 19, 35763 Maple St., Independence; Jeffrey W. Bursaw, 49, 1322 E. Anita Drive, Eau Claire; Donald J. Dobson, 49, N5606 Zeug Road, Black River Falls; Daniel L. Ducommon, 32, 12037 30th Ave., Chippewa Falls; Russell W. La Point, 32, 921 Walnut St., Eau Claire; Brandon L. McCartney, 24, 1120 Sunset Lane, Altoona; Atul N. Patel, 40, 4608 Royal Drive, Eau Claire; Douglas A. Regal, 39, 19991 Highway X, Chippewa Falls; Michael A. Sluga, 29, 5128 E. Hamilton Ave., Eau Claire; and Jonathon P. Smalstig, 34, E1900 Kurt Court, Eau Claire.
The men are scheduled to appear in court at 11 a.m. May 23, Wright said.
Before and after the men's arrests, Eau Claire police did not suspect illegal activity was occurring at the hotel, Rokus said.
"The Plaza Hotel & Suites was an important partner with the Eau Claire Police Department in this investigation."
O'Brien can be reached at 715-830-5838, 800-236-7077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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