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Former public health director faces prostitution charge

A former St. Paul-Ramsey County Public Health Department director was recently arrested as part of a prostitution sting. The 72-year-old is now facing one count of engaging in prostitution. 

According to the charges pressed against the man, he had responded to an ad on backpage.com. He did not know it at the time, but the ad was posted by an undercover police officer. When responding to the ad, he supposedly gave a fake first name.

The 72-year-old met the undercover police officer at a hotel room, where he allegedly asked for a sexual favor and put $100 on a night stand. As this was part of a string operation, after making the offer, other officers came into the hotel room and the 72-year-old was arrested.

In looking at a case such as this one, while many might think it is pretty straight forward, when it comes to accusations of prostitution and solicitation it is important to remember that there can be a number of constitutional issues and police procedures at play. Depending, these issues and the way police procedures were handled, charges related to prostitution can even end up being dismissed.

For example, many times during these sting operations the undercover officer is wearing a wire. Many times, the quality of these recordings is so poor that it is hard to even determine what was being said. Other times, the way a person was approached can even be viewed at as entrapment.

Depending on the situation, there are also sometimes options, like accepting a plea bargain. However, before doing anything like this, those accused of being involved in prostitution in the Minneapolis area should contact an attorney who has experience handling these types of cases.

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Former St. Paul-Ramsey county health official charged with prostitution," May 16, 2013

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