Law enforcement officers carried out the sting by posting an advertisement on two websites, back. The sites are commonly used by individuals looking to engage in commercial sex trafficking and prostitution, Collins said in a news release issued by his office.
The three suspects face charges of engaging in, hiring or agreeing to hire a minor to engage in prostitution, a felony under Minnesota law. Zeug is accused of initiating communication with a person who he believed to be a year-old girl.
Turrubiartes is alleged to have solicited sex with an individual he believed was a year-old girl and also faces a charge of solicitation of children to engage in sexual conduct. Sex trafficking operates in the shadows so statistics are hard to come by.
But according to a report compiled by the Minnesota Department of Health, youths were served by a Safe Harbor program between July 1,and June 30, Referrals came from 55 different counties. Most were female and their average age was Isolation and a lack of awareness and recognition of the problem also make rural Minnesota vulnerable to sex trafficking.
State authorities have been stepping up their response. The Safe Harbor law was passed inredefining children who engage in sexual exploitation as victims and survivors rather than criminals.
The law also increased penalties against commercial sex abusers and purchasers. In a report this year to the Minnesota Legislature, the Department of Public Safety noted a ificant increase in training for law enforcement to identify and respond to human trafficking cases. The arrests Written By: Anne Polta pm, Jun. Submitted photo.
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