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Shoreview is a city of approximately 26,000 residents, situated in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul in Ramsey County, Minnesota. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-documented problems in the greater Twin Cities area, and Shoreview is no exception.
In June 2015, for example, a Shoreview resident was sentenced to six years in prison after having sex with two minor girls (ages 14 and 15). One of the two victims was reportedly offered 10 grams of synthetic marijuana in exchange for sexual acts. Although a prostitution charge levied against the man was ultimately dropped, he was “convicted of two third-degree criminal sexual conduct charges and engaging in electronic communication relating to or describing sexual conduct with a child.” The offender reportedly solicited the victims’ online.
Local law enforcement have on at least reverse sting in the community to curtail demand for prostitution. In November 2013, 19 men were arrested or cited for trying to buy sex in a web-based reverse sting at a Shoreview hotel. The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office and St. Paul Police Department collaborated on the operation. Officers posted an advertisement on Backpage.com and arranged to meet the men who responded at the hotel. According to reports, the arrested men ranged in age from 25 to 68 and came from across the metropolitan area, from cities including St. Paul, Ham Lake, Maplewood, Little Canada, Woodbury, Brooklyn Park, Oakdale, Burnsville and Canton, Ohio. None of the men were from Shoreview. The sting was the first such operation conducted by the RCSO in 2013, although the sheriff’s office had previously assisted in other agencies’ efforts. When asked about the sting, a sheriff’s spokesman reported that “St. Paul’s human trafficking unit has been so successful in the city [conducting reverse] stings [that law enforcement had decided to] shift its efforts out into the suburbs.”
- Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office
- St. Paul Police Department
- Web-Based Reverse Stings:
- Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “City Approves New Massage Therapy Law,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 15 1992.
- “South Minneapolis Struggles against Rise in Prostitution,” Twin Cities Daily Planet, June 16 2006.
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