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Police: Man accused of prostituting teens in South Minneapolis joins sting

Police say that a Minneapolis man suspected of recruiting teenage girls to prostitute the teens out of his South Minneapolis home helped authorities nab several so-called "johns" in a police sting operation. Hennepin County officials claim that the 55-year-old Minneapolis resident used his home to sell sex with teenage girls. He is charged with three counts of felony prostitution.

Police say that they learned of the alleged prostitution operation in September. While authorities claim that the 55-year-old had prostituted several girls, primarily from his home, police say that a 16 and a 17-year-old girl had left a treatment facility. The teens reportedly were tied to the alleged south Minneapolis prostitution case.

Officers say that law enforcement used the man accused of selling sex to set up a trap for people willing to pay for sex with the teenagers. Police claim that men from the suburbs were lured into the sting operation and were arrested as they prepared to pay for sex at the South Minneapolis location.

Police say that the 55-year-old agreed to participate in the sting after authorities began to suspect him of running the operation. At least one of the men arrested in the sting faces felony prostitution charges in Hennepin County. Authorities accuse a 46-year-old Shakopee, Minnesota man of recruiting a 50-year-old from Eagan to pay for sex with the teenage girls during the prostitution investigation.

Officials have also charged a 45-year-old Eagan, Minnesota man with two counts of felony prostitution for allegedly agreeing to pay $100 for sex with a girl he believed to be 15 or 16 years-old.

Minnesota's criminal statutes controlling prostitution have many facets. A person who promotes prostitution, as well as an alleged "patron," or "John" can face serious felony charges under Minnesota law. The consequences of any level of sex crime can be harsh in Minnesota. When allegations rise to the level of a felony, the stakes get even higher.

It is important for anyone suspected or accused of a prostitution-related offense to consider speaking with legal counsel to learn how to deal with police-- or to learn what defenses may be available in an individual case.

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Mpls. ringleader, johns charged in prostitution sting," Paul Walsh, Nov. 13, 2012

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