Will Addressing Human Trafficking in St Paul Lead to Over-Policing?

The high rate of human trafficking crimes in St Paul has led to a strong police force that’s cracking down on sex crimes with a Human Trafficking Task Force.

Human Trafficking in the Twin Cities

Minnesota ranks third in the nation for the largest number of sex crimes involving human trafficking of both adults and children. To address the problem, state officials and law enforcement have created a Human Trafficking Task Force that’s dedicated to catching human traffickers and putting them behind bars.

Human trafficking is the fastest-growing and second-largest criminal industry throughout the world. It is a type of modern-day-slavery that forces both adults and children into a life of cruelty involving forced labor and sexual assaults. Human sex trafficking involves the sale of unwilling victims to prostitution rings, drug cartels, illegal businesses, and private individuals who charge money for sexual acts and servitude. In Minnesota, most human trafficking victims are vulnerable, under-age girls victimized by male predators who use manipulative, pimp-like strategies to force girls into a dangerous lifestyle of prostitution, commonly involving drugs and violence.

The Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force focuses on the prevention of sexual exploitation and human trafficking against adults and children. Enforcement strategies target male predators who buy or sell women and children, as well as businesses that profit from sexual exploitation and human trafficking. The task force works in close conjunction with the St Paul Police Department, the Minneapolis Police Department, specialized community advocates, social workers, mental health professionals, and child protection services.

In Minnesota, a St Paul criminal lawyer handles three degrees of sex trafficking crimes. Criminal charges and penalties for human trafficking depend on several important factors including: age of the sex trafficking victim; nature of the forced sexual exploitation; duration of the victim’s captivity; and physical and/or mental abuse inflicted on the victim.

Aggravated First-Degree sex trafficking is the most serious level of human trafficking crimes. As a felony offense, it is punishable by $60,000 in fines and up to 25 years in prison. Aggravated First-Degree applies if:

  • The offender has prior sex trafficking convictions
  • More than one victim is involved
  • The victim suffers bodily harm
  • The victim is held in bondage for more than 180 days

If the victim is a minor, under 18 years of age, an offender faces a charge of First-Degree sex trafficking punishable by $50,000 in fines and up to 20 years in prison.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

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