Roseville is a suburb of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis–St. Paul, Minnesota, and has roughly 32,000 residents. The Roseville Police Department routinely makes prostitution arrests, as noted frequently in police crime blotters. Cases of sex trafficking have also been investigated in the city, such as a 2012 case involving a 17-year-old girl for which her pimp was convicted and sentenced to 21 years, and a case where a trafficker transported a 15-year-old girl to Roseville from Chicago and sold her for sex, resulting in his conviction for sex trafficking.
To address prostitution and sex trafficking, the Roseville Police Department has incorporated efforts to combat demand, including the targeted arrest of sex buyers and counseling programs for first-time offenders. For example, in three days in September 2012, police posted a decoy online ad and made 1o arrests of sex buyers at a hotel that collaborated with police in setting up the reverse sting. The hotel was the site of frequent tips and complaints by hotel employees about suspected prostitution and sex trafficking activity. The Roseville Police Department states that the department’s highest priority in investigating and prosecuting prostitution is to prevent the sex trafficking and exploitation of teenage girls.
The Roseville City Attorney’s Office offers first-time arrestees a chance to maintain a clear criminal record if they agree to plead guilty, pay applicable fines and penalties, and complete a court-ordered counseling program. The counseling program, typically offered through the john school program provided by Breaking Free, is designed to challenge attitudes and assumptions supporting participation in prostitution.
Roseville law enforcement have reported positive impacts from these efforts; in a 2012 press release, a RPD representative noted the city had a 76% drop in prostitution-related arrests from 2012 to the first half of 2013. Roseville also saw a 29% decrease in total police calls for service to area hotels and motels compared to the same reporting period in 2012. Roseville PD issued its news update after acknowledging that “some Roseville residents have expressed concern that prostitution arrests in Roseville have been in the news lately.” The news release continued:
“Police hear fewer complaints from hotel/ motel staff and visitors, see fewer escort providers advertising ‘services,’ and see an implied reluctance to carry out ‘services’ in Roseville due to increased law enforcement pressure. Undercover officers report a common theme from ‘escorts’ and ‘johns’ who hesitate about coming to Roseville because the City is known for its police stings.”
- Roseville Police Department
- Ramsey County Attorney’s Office
- Breaking Free
- John School:
- “Program Works with Prostitutes’ Customers,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, December 26 1988.
- Web-Based Reverse Stings:
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Columbia Heights Man Charged with Prostituting 17-Year-Old Girl,” St. Paul Pioneer-Press, January 26 2012.
- “Man Gets 21-Year Sentence for Prostituting Underage Girl,” NBC/KARE-TV 11, June 6 2012.
- “Website Pressured over Sex Trafficking; Backpage.com Enables Trafficking of Children, Police Say. Site Owner Insists It Works to Stop Exploitation,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 11 2012.
- “Protecting Teens from the Sex Trade; Involving Hotels, Motels Can Help Combat Teen Prostitution,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 27 2012.
- “Guardian Charged after Teen Allegedly Sold for Sex; A Woodbury Woman Is Accused of Neglect after a Young Vulnerable Adult Says She Was Repeatedly Prostituted,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, January 5 2013.
- “Police: Girl’s Refusal to Be Prostitute Spurs Beating; 15-year-old Chicagoan Brought to Twin Cities,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, June 5 2013.
- “Mom Sentenced for Dropping off Disabled Daughter for Sex; the 19-Year-Old Has the Mental Capacity of a 5-Year-Old and Gave Birth to a Child after Being Raped,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 6 2013.
- “Ramsey County: Chicago Man Convicted of Prostituting Teenage Girl,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, November 1 2013.
- “Man Charged with Sex Trafficking 3 Juveniles,” NBC/KARE-TV 11, June 5 2014.
- “Teen Prostitution Charges Filed; St. Paul Man Arrested at Roseville Motel Accused of Trafficking Three Girls,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 6 2014.
- “Dontre McHenry Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking Teenage Girls throughout Minnesota,” U.S. Federal News Service, October 17 2014.
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Vice Operation Arrests 10,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 22 1998.
- “Roseville Police Teams Put Dent in Crime; New Effort Targets Four Problem Areas,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, May 5 1998.
- “Targeting Spread of Prostitution; St. Paul Fights with Sweeps and Undercover Operations,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 30 1998.