City sets hefty fines for social host, prostitution, sexting

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By Brandi Makuski

If you break the law, crime does pay—just not in the way you may think.

Stevens Point police this month have added to ordinance their list of forfeiture amounts related to newer city laws. Characterized as a “housekeeping” move by Police Chief Martin Skibba, the list of fines brings city ordinances under Chapter 24 up-to-date.

Additions to the ordinances were approved by the city council on Monday.

The city passed a social host ordinance in spring of 2015. The ordinance holds people accountable for providing a venue, public or private, for individuals younger than 21 to drink alcoholic beverages. The first offense is $300 plus court costs. A second offense in the same year is a $500 fine, and a third offense in the same year is $750, plus court costs.

In July 2017 the city added sexting to its ordinances, allowing for teens to go through the municipal court system instead of facing a felony. Prior to the ordinance passing, sexting could only be addressed through the criminal justice system. A first offense is fined $100 plus court costs; the second fine within a year is $200.

An ordinance prohibiting prostitution was passed by the city in March, following an undercover operation that yielded four arrests. But Assistant Police Chief Tom Zenner said not every crime related to prostitution escalates to the level of a felony, so the ordinance allows for lesser crimes to be charged in municipal court.

The fine for prostitution is $1,500 plus court costs.