U.S.

Wisconsin man indicted in forced labor case involving woman held against her will for two years

A Wisconsin man was indicted Thursday on allegations of making a woman provide work or services against her will, or forced labor, for nearly two years.

The U.S. Department of Justice unsealed the indictment against Austin Koeckeritz, 29, of River Falls, Wisconsin on one count of labor trafficking.

Austin Koeckeritz of River Falls, WIsconsin was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday for allegations he forced a woman into work against her will.
(Pierce County Jail)

Koeckeritz was listed as an inmate at the Pierce County on charges of human trafficking and third-degree sexual assault, with bail set at $300,000.

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According to the DOJ, Koeckeritz faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, if convicted of forced labor, and up to five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

A federal court judge will determine Koeckeritz’s ultimate sentence if convicted of the crime.

The U.S. Department of Justice has charged two people with

The U.S. Department of Justice has charged two people with “swatting” of homes over the course of a week in November 2020. 
(Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

The FBI Milwaukee Field Office and River Falls Police Department conducted the investigation into Koeckeritz, with assistance from the Pierce County District Attorney’s office.

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Taylor Kraus, and assistant U.S. attorney, and trial attorneys Slava Kuperstein and Julie Pfluger of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit will prosecute the case in court.

Anyone with information about Koeckeritz is encouraged by the FBI to contact its Milwaukee Field Office at 414-276-4684.

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The DOJ did not provide any additional information about the allegations.

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