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They saw several young women on phones talking with ad respondents about cost and location.
At one point, Otis Washington made sexual advances toward the 15-year-old, but she grabbed his cellphone and called police.
Some of the women said they were physically and sexually assaulted by the sex traffickers.
According to the charges: A woman e-mailed police in October and said her 15-year-old granddaughter had been targeted in July by a group of sex traffickers in the 600 block of E.
Paul family allegedly posted hundreds of online ads selling sex with several women, some as young as 15, who were coerced, threatened and assaulted into a life authorities described as “modern day human slavery.” The family preyed on young vulnerable girls — girls diagnosed as bipolar or mentally challenged.
The suspects’ checkered pasts (one was required to register as a sex offender for five years) placed them on police radar for years, but it wasn’t until recently that the scope of their alleged sex trafficking ring was exposed and dismantled by a joint effort of St.
Authorities and advocates said the six-month investigation that led to their arrests signals a change in how law enforcement officials are approaching sex trafficking cases and victims, opting for more interagency cooperation while bringing advocates into the fold.
When the 15-year-old and an 18-year-old friend were brought to the home by the brothers, one of them told the 15-year-old that her friend was going to serve as a prostitute and tried to persuade the younger girl to do the same.
Officers were told there had been a fight, and the 15-year-old went home. Otis Washington pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in Ramsey County District Court in 2002, and was ordered to register as a sex offender for five years.
In 2010, Antonio Washington pleaded guilty to promoting prostitution in a 2009 case in which he trafficked two sisters, ages 18 and 19.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced on Wednesday the arrests of five people in a sex-trafficking ring.
“All of the defendants are a part of an evil conspiracy to enslave women and girls for their own financial gain,” he said in a statement.Paul police, the Ramsey County attorney’s office and the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota.