A grand jury indicted a Milwaukee man Tuesday on federal charges related to the arson of a home that a crowd last month believed was a sex trafficking hub.
Stemming from the unrest outside a Washington Park house, Joshua M. Lusk, 32, faces charges of arson and attempted arson, injuring a Milwaukee firefighter, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Court documents detailing the charges were not immediately available in the online federal court access system.
Police previously said the house, in the 2100 block of North 40th Street, was set on fire twice. The chaotic scene developed after a crowd gathered, fueled by unfounded rumors that the house was used for sex trafficking and that two missing teenage girls were being held there.
As the unrest escalated, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into a scattered crowd. Police said people were throwing bricks and projectiles at officers and fire crews.
Firefighters were called to the scene about 5:30 p.m. June 23 and had to be escorted by officers in order to fight the first fire, police said.
Then, shortly before 12:30 a.m. June 24, police and fire crews were called to the house as it was set on fire once again. During the ensuing emergency response, police said three officers were injured by people throwing bricks.
A 31-year-old woman who lived in the upstairs unit of the home said she “lost everything” in the fires. She was away at the time, having just given birth to a baby girl.
If convicted of the charges, Lusk faces a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison and a maximum of up to 20 years.
Contact Sophie Carson at (414) 223-5512 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @SCarson_News.