Dubuque Prostitution Sting


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

During a two-day sting operation, Dubuque police arrested 11 men for the intention of soliciting prostitution. One of the men was identified as Craig Mason, a lecturer in the Performing and Visual Arts Department at UW-Platteville.

According to Iowa Courts Case Search, the charge of prostitution in this case is an aggravated misdemeanor charge with up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $6,250. One man out of the 11 will also be charged with marijuana and methamphetamine possession along with a drug paraphernalia charge. 

No public statement from UW-Platteville was found regarding Mason being arrested. Employment laws in Wisconsin protect employees from being terminated for an arrest or conviction unless the charge is substantially related to their employment. Currently, Mason is on administrative leave. 

Students in Mason’s classes were informed he would be absent in an email sent by the university that states, “The university has placed Mr. Mason on administrative leave. Please report to your classes as scheduled, as we will have one of our talented faculty lead your course to ensure that you continue your high-quality educational experience.”

According to the Dubuque Police Department, the sting consisted of investigators who created online advertisements for prostitution websites. This is not considered entrapment because all of the men were engaged in contact first instead of police inviting them to commit the crime. Dubuque Police also mentioned that making these types of arrests might help the human trafficking problem within the state and nation because prostitution and human trafficking are closely related to each other.