(WFRV) – A superseding indictment was returned against a western Wisconsin man on Thursday, charging him with forced labor and sex trafficking, production of child porn, and money laundering.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), the nine-count indictment charges Austin Koeckeritz, a 29-year-old from River Falls.

Authorities say the indictment alleges that Koeckeritz, between August 2020 and August 2022, used force to cause an adult to engage in forced labor and that he used force to cause this person to engage in ‘commercial sex acts.’

Koeckeritz also allegedly recruited, enticed, transported, and maintained a minor, knowing she would be caused to engage in commercial sex acts. Koeckeritz reportedly traveled across Minnesota and Wisconsin state lines to engage in sexual conduct with the minor.

The indictment alleges that Koeckeritz used the minor to produce child pornography. The incidents involving the minor are alleged to have happened between October 2021 and January 2022.

Charges against Koeckeritz include:

  • Forced labor
    • 20-year max
  • Sex trafficking by force
    • 15 years to life
  • Sex trafficking of a minor
    • 10 years to life
  • Interstate travel with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor
    • 30-year max
  • Transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
    • 10 years to life
  • Producing child pornography
    • 15 years to life
  • 3 counts of money laundering
    • 20-year max for each count

Koeckeritz is being held in federal custody pending trial, which is scheduled for May 8.

The FBI Milwaukee Field Office and the River Falls Police Department investigated the case.

The FBI is asking anyone with information about Austin Koeckeritz to contact the FBI Milwaukee Field Office at (414) 276-4684. If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

No additional information was provided.