Minnesota high school senior charged with sex trafficking

Recently, at senior at Hopkins High School was charged with two felonies, after law enforcement officers reported that she was involved in the prostitution of one of her teammates on the cheerleading squad.

The 18-year-old is facing charges of promoting prostitution and sex trafficking. Based on reports from the involved police officers, the high school senior sent a message on Facebook to another girl on the cheerleading squad, after the girl had stated that she wanted to make money. She allegedly posted photographs of the girl on a website and drove her to an apartment building.

The 16-year-old girl was paid for performing a sex act, and the 18-year-old facing charges reportedly took the money and deposited it in her own bank account. According to the criminal complaint, the 18-year-old drove the younger girl to another meeting the next day, where she was told to perform another sex act. When the younger girl refused, the high school senior drove her back to their school.

When questioned by law enforcement officers, the 18-year-old told the police that she had made the online advertisement for the younger girl.

Sex trafficking charges in Minnesota

While many people may assume that criminal charges one faces at a young age will not have implications down the line, that could not be further from the truth. In this particular case, if the high school senior is convicted of the felony charges, she could receive up to a $50,000 fine and be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Law enforcement officers in Minnesota have been cracking down on sex trafficking allegations. Recently, the FBI indicated that Minnesota is 13th in the country in terms of the number of sex trafficking incidents. Minnesota's high ranking is due in part to the interstate access that allows motorists to easily travel between states. In addition, experts have pointed to the role of social media sites - such as Facebook - as they provide outlets for individuals to meet one another.

When a juvenile faces charges of a sex crime in Minnesota, the consequences can be severe and life altering. From lengthy jail sentences to hefty fines, a sex crime conviction at a young age can cause numerous challenges down the road. Consequently, it is critical for parents to seek the advice of a skilled criminal defense attorney when their child faces such charges. A legal professional will ensure a strong defense is established to protect the juvenile's rights.