A recent three-month investigation by an FBI task force revealed that the Twin Cities are a major hub for sex trafficking in the United States. The task force tracked sex crimes in Washington County from January 1 through March 31, 2016. Sex crimes are among the top offenses seen by a Minneapolis criminal attorney in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas.
Sex Trafficking in the Twin Cities
Minneapolis, the city with the largest population, and Saint Paul, the state capital, are experiencing extremely high numbers of sex trafficking crimes. Within a three-month investigation, a federal task force tracked the number of sex advertisements on Backpage.com and uncovered that there were over 15,500 online solicitations in Washington County alone. According to FBI investigators, online solicitations often spiked during warmer spring and summer weather, on weekends, and during holidays. During the investigation, investigators posted fake advertisements to draw predators out. This resulted in 32 arrests for solicitation of prostitution.
The Twin Cities anchor the second-largest economic center in the Midwest, behind Chicago, so it’s no surprise to federal investigators or a Minneapolis criminal attorney that national sex trafficking data ranks the the Twin Cities among the top 13 areas in the country for sex trafficking and child pornography crimes. Investigations reveal that many victims of sex trafficking are vulnerable teens who don’t enter the trade by choice. Due to their age and lack of family or financial support, most sex trafficking victims, many as young as 12, don’t have the means to escape the cycle of physical and sexual abuse that’s associated with Minnesota sex trafficking crimes commonly seen by a Minneapolis criminal attorney.
Sex Trafficking Statistics in Minnesota
- In 2013, studies revealed that over 200 girls are sold for sex every month in Minnesota, either through local escort services or the Internet.. This number does not include any prostitution activity through hotels, street solicitation or gang activity.
- Recent investigations show that at least 45 girls under the age of 18 are sold for sex in the Twin Cities every night. The average age of most girls is 13.
- In 2014, investigations across three states revealed that Minneapolis is the home base of one of the country’s largest domestic prostitution rings. It is run by three generations of a Minnesota family responsible for trafficking young girls across the United States.