Rhinelander man faces federal child sex charges
Star Journal Staff
A Rhinelander man faces up to life in prison after a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment against him May 25. Paul S. Osterman, 35, is charged with crimes related to soliciting a 13-year old Illinois girl on MeetMe social media app used for commercial sex.
Count One alleges that from July 3 through July 5, 2019, Osterman solicited the child for sex in exchange for money. Count Two alleges that during these same dates, Osterman used a facility and means of interstate commerce (MeetMe) to persuade, induce and entice the child to engage in illegal sexual activity. Count Three alleges that during these same dates, Osterman traveled in interstate commerce (from Wisconsin to Illinois) for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex with the child.
Counts one and two each carry a maximum penalty of life in prison and count three carries a maximum 30-year penalty.
Osterman was charged in Marathon County Circuit Court with one count of child trafficking in September. In December he was charged in Lincoln County Court with one count of child trafficking. He has court appearances scheduled for June in both cases.
The federal charges were brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006, by the U.S. Department of Justice. The case was investigated by the FBI, Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office and will be prosecuted by an Assistant U.S. Attorney.