Up until yesterday afternoon, Braun had yet to be charged for his part in the crime. DA Martin J. Lipske has now filed a single class D felony charge against Braun for soliciting a child for prostitution. The charge carries a maximum penalty of a $100,000 fine and/or 25 years in prison. Braun's initial appearance in front of Judge Patrick J. Madden at Iron County Courthouse in Hurley is scheduled for October 21st.
As more news media outlets catch on to this story, a mantra is being repeated in all of them. In articles put out by the Superior Telegram, Duluth News-Tribune along with Northlands NewsCenter, they are proclaiming that this sex trafficking case is the the first of its kind in the area. While this may be a clever play on it considering trafficking laws only came into being in Wisconsin in 2008, there clearly have been cases in Iron County of a similar nature. Including the following one in 1993.
Last year, I looked into all the prostitution cases in Iron County in recent years and summarized my findings in the article, "CRIME STATISTICS: PROSTITUTION IN IRON COUNTY".
Truth of the matter is prostitution is a problem in Iron County however, it is interesting to note that out of the 8 cases I found between 1985-2008 that involved prostitution related arrests and charges, there were NO convictions. Either all charges were dismissed or reduced down to disorderly conduct. One anomaly was one case of prostitution in which the case file is SEALED in its entirety and we therefore do not know the outcome of this case.
Another thing I picked up from the articles coming out from various sources over the last day or two is how Ms. Peterson and DA Lipske both play the naive, quiet, little town card and acting as though they were shocked to see such an incident take place in sleepy Iron County. Really? Hurley, Wisconsin has had a vibrant sex industry since it's inception and continues to do so. "AlterNet" web magazine recently ranked Hurley, WI as the "#4 Kinkiest City" in America only one place behind Las Vegas and Hurley is consistently ranked the best place for nightlife in SnoGoer Magazine as it is infamous for its row of wild strip clubs on the lower block of Silver St.