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Manawa Man To Trial For Alleged Human Trafficking


A Manawa man has been bound over for trial in Oneida county on charges of human trafficking, child enticement and a sex charge.

43 year old Michael W. Johnson waived a preliminary hearing before Judge Michael Bloom.

The criminal complaint alleges Johnson brought a  17 year old female he had met on the Internet to Rhinelander   in February and March to have sex, some of which was allegedly in exchange for money. The complaint alleges the underage teen had sex numerous times with the adults.

Also charged concerning the same alleged circumstances are 55 year old  Thomas E. Franz and 46 year old Carrie A. Stienmetz, both of Rhinelander.

Johnson's attorney told the court his client would waive any testimony in a preliminary hearing.  Judge Bloom moved the matter to trial...

"....I've previously reviewed the information set forth in the criminal complaint in this case and there is sufficient information alleged to give rise to a finding that there is probable cause that a felony offense was committed by this defendant in Oneida county...."

Johnson will next appear in October to enter a plea. The trafficking charge carries a 40 year prison term maximum, child enticement 25 years, and 9 months maximum for the sex charge. Fines could exceed $200,000. Johnson is free after he posted $10,000 cash bond.