Rhinelander man now facing federal charges in attempted child-trafficking investigation

Paul Osterman, 34
Paul Osterman, 34(Oneida County Jail)
Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 10:17 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) - The 35-year-old man accused of attempting to meet young girls online for sex is facing federal charges on allegations he solicited a 13-year-old Illinois girl on the MeetMe social media site.

Paul Osterman remains in Marathon County jail on a $50,000 cash bond for charges he is facing there.

His federal charges stem from allegations he solicited the child for sex in exchange for money in July 2019 and drove from Wisconsin to Illinois for the purpose of having sex with a child.

In Marathon County, investigators said Osterman used an alias and attempted to meet a young girl for sex using using social media in 2018. The criminal complaint states because public wi-fi had been used, the identity of the user could not be determined. At the time, the user had suggested meeting a 12-year-old girl, but later stated it was a joke when the recipient said they’d call the police.

Osterman’s criminal complaints detail similar requests at various times until June 2020.

Osterman owns an internet service provider business and told investigators anyone of his 400 customers could be the suspect when detectives attempted to track the source of the messages. Investigators later installed a GPS device on his vehicle and say they matched his location to the source of the messages.

Last May, Osterman was accused of attempting to meet a 9-year-old. Court documents state he was communicating with a member of Perverted Justice—a group that works to catch child-sexual predators. The person contacted Tomahawk Police to report the incident.

The FBI assisted in the federal investigation into Osterman.

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