Stillwater, MN

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Shaming
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Letters
Cameras
Web stings
License suspension

Stillwater is a city in Washington County, Minnesota, and has a population of about 19,000. Stillwater is part of the Twin Cities Metro Area, and is located across St. Croix River from Wisconsin. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-documented in the city, and throughout the region.  For example, in 2017, police have revoked the license of a Washington County massage parlor after an employee there was charged with prostitution; the Washington County Sheriff’s Department conducted a sting operation on a massage parlor after receiving several complaints about the business. Also in 2017, the Washington County Attorney’s Office announced that a man was sentenced for sex trafficking a 14-year-old girl and for the promotion of prostitution. The convict was sentenced to 120 months in prison and 90 months in prison on those charges, respectively. The 14-year-old victim had told police that she had been trafficked by by the offender on Backpage.com and had sex with at least two different men in exchange for money, which she turned over to defendant. Police departments involved in the cooperative effort to recover the juvenile victim and securing the sex trafficking conviction were Woodbury, Oakdale, Forest Lake, Stillwater, Saint Paul, Minneapolis, as well as the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Among the efforts to combat sex trafficking and prostitution in Stillwater and Washington County are the use of tactics targeting consumer-level demand, including reverse stings. In July 2016, four men were arrested on felony prostitution charges after a sting conducted in Stillwater. According to Stillwater police reports, all four were arrested on suspicion of soliciting a minor for prostitution.

Key Partners

  • Stillwater Police Department
  • Washington County Sheriff’s Office
  • Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
  • Woodbury Police Department
  • Oakdale Police Department
  • Forest Lake Police Department
  • Saint Paul Police Department
  • Minneapolis Police Department
State Minnesota
Type City
Population 19292
Location
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