DUBUQUE, Iowa - A new Dubuque organization wants people there to know prostitution and human trafficking is happening in the Tri-State Area. Dubuque police say it's not a new or growing problem.
In the past two years Dubuque Police have only arrested two people on prostitution charges. Officers arrested Faisal Rauf, in 2012 at a Dubuque home. Then, last May, police arrested Yhan Wang after a lengthy investigation at the Asian Massage in downtown Dubuque.
There's no question what Casey Klein and the rest of The Dubuque Justice League wants.
Klein said, "I want to see they're faces on the billboards. I want their boss and their wife to know that they are rapping 12,13,14 year olds for profit and for their sexual gratification. "
That's to make sure people know human trafficking and prostitution are happening Dubuque. That's why the newly formed group speaks to local clubs and religious groups about the international problem.
Klein said, "I know it's happening in Dubuque. It's happening in Grant County. And it's happening in Jo Daviess County. "
Dubuque police say prostitution has dramatically changed since the days of scantly clad women walking the streets. Now most of it has moved online to websites like Backpage.com.
Dubuque Police Chief Mark Dalsing said, "Is it an everyday recognizable problem? No. Is it something we are aware of that we're constantly looking for? Yes. "
Police say the May 9th, 2013 prostitution arrest at the former "Asian Massage" drew a lot of public speculation about prostitution in Dubuque.
Dalsing said, "I wouldn't say there's a rise in incidents. But there's a rise in awareness. There's been a lot of people really becoming aware that it's a nation-wide and world-wide problem. "
To continue raising awareness, the justice league wants to partner with police to help in anyway they can.
"We want to make sure were connecting with law enforcement. That's so important. We so want to be supportive and not a problem, but if you don't know the problem is out there, how can you serve? " said Klein.