Walnut Grove, MN

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Walnut Grove is a small city of about 700 residents in Redwood County, located in southwestern Minnesota. Prostitution and sex trafficking have not been well-documented within the city, but consequences for sex buying have occurred on at least one occasion through identity disclosure and employment loss.

In June 2017, the Walnut Grove Police Chief was “suspended without pay indefinitely” after being caught in a minor prostitution sting in Redwood Falls. He was charged with felony prostitution-attempting to hire a minor under 18, which could result in 5 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. He also sent the undercover officer in the sting several sexual messages and requested nude photos. The Walnut Grove City Council decided in a special meeting to suspend him without pay indefinitely after his arrest. The community, city council members, and mayor expressed shock and said they were saddened by the allegations. Until someone was chosen to serve in his absence, the mayor said the Redwood County Sheriff’s Office would be patrolling the area. In May 2018, the man officially resigned from his post as police chief and in July he pleaded guilty to agreeing to hire a minor for prostitution. He was sentenced to one year in jail with 275 days stayed and two years supervised probation. He was also required to undergo a mental health evaluation as part of the probation.

Key Partners

  • Walnut Grove City Council
  • Walnut Grove Police Department
State Minnesota
Type City
Population 719
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