Added: Remigio Thatcher - Date: 08.12.2021 22:39 - Views: 10077 - Clicks: 2853
The Minneapolis Police Department plans a review of practices used in undercover prostitution stings after three criminal cases were dismissed in the last month because male officers had sexual contact with the subject during the sting.
The department is discontinuing the stings until the review is complete, according to city spokesperson Matt Lindstrom.
He said the department is considering alternatives to using undercover cops in prostitution investigations, which could include civil enforcement through the city's new massage ordinance. Police spokesperson Scott Seroka said none of the three undercover officers involved in the three cases is personally being investigated. In that incident, the officer negotiated the price for sexual conduct with the woman only after she was touching his genitals.
Dean represented the same woman in another case which was dismissed by Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal on Monday. Dean said the Minneapolis Police Department should have revised their policies following a Minnesota Court of Appeals ruling six years Minneapolis police prostitution photos. In a decision the court decided that the officer did not need to engage in sexual conduct with the woman in order to gather enough evidence to prosecute her. Another case involving a different woman represented by a Hennepin County public defender was dismissed in court Tuesday.
The undercover officer in that case talked with a masseuse about the weather and his broken hand during the December sting, according to a transcript of the recording. Hennepin County Chief Public Defender Mary Moriarty said the officer was naked and the masseuse was topless during the massage. The transcript shows that the officer repeatedly commented on the masseuse's body and then asks if he should "roll over.
Moriarty said the masseuse then touched the officer's genitals, after which moans can be heard on the recording until other officers raided the studio. The officer's attorney later said he hadn't thought the agreement for sexual contact was enough to make a criminal case. The Hennepin County public defender notes Minnesota has led the country in providing so-called "safe harbors" for underage victims of prostitution.
Minnesota-based nonprofit Breaking Free advocates for victims of human trafficking and street prostitution. Interim Executive Director Emily Baldwin expressed concern about the cases in a statement on Thursday, saying that a very few officers may "inappropriately abuse their power to harm rather than serve women escaping sex trafficking. You make MPR News possible.
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Mpls. police's prostitution stings criticized