Nationwide child prostitution bust - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Nationwide child prostitution bust

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A crackdown on prostitutes put 12 accused pimps behinds bars in Wisconsin, and a total of almost 300 nationwide.

Authorities say 168 child prostitutes in more than 100 cities, including some in Wisconsin, were rescued in Operation Cross Country. Many were not even reported missing, an police say they may never have been found if not for this operation.

Many of the girls were forced into prostitution, lured by boyfriends offering phony promises of love and affection.

"There are our kids, on our street corners, our truck stops, our motels, our casinos," James Comey, the FBI director, said. "These are America's children."

The underage girls now go to juvenile halls across the country, where police say they'll get help, and most importantly, forced time away from their pimps.

Some girls rescued in the same operation a few years ago are now in college.

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