Court documents related to a case in which two individuals were accused of operating a commercial sex business in North Dakota were released on Sept. 24. The documents accused the 32-year-old woman and the 32-year-old man of convincing California women to come to North Dakota in order to work in brothels between late 2012 and early 2014.
Police began an investigation into a club that was being run by the accused man and woman in May 2013. During a search of the establishment, the authorities allegedly found evidence of client scheduling and pricing schemes, resulting in human trafficking charges being filed against the two individuals. Both of them were released on bond. In early 2014, authorities allegedly discovered drug paraphernalia in the woman's possession, prompting a search of her home. Based on evidence recovered, the two were taken into custody a second time.
Both individuals were charged with a number of crimes, including coercing interstate travel for prostitution, conspiracy to coerce interstate travel for prostitution, interstate transportation in aid of racketeering enterprise and collection of extensions of credit by extortionate means. The woman made her first appearance in court on Sept. 24 and pleaded not guilty to the charges. The report did not state if the accused man had made his court appearance.
North Dakota takes allegations of sex crimes very seriously. Those who are convicted for sex crimes may face a prison sentence and other related punishments. Depending upon the evidence available in the case against the accused person, an attorney could potentially create a defense by providing evidence that the alleged crime did not actually happen or that the accused person was was not involved in the alleged crime.
Source: Bakken Breakout, "Women allegedly lured to work in N.D. brothels", Amy Dalrymple, September 25, 2014