Between January and March 2019, four men were taken into custody after responding to an ad supposedly created by a woman named Brittany. She was offering to provide sexual contact in exchange for up to $140 an hour. When the men would arrive at the women’s hotel room, they were met by Minnesota police officers who took them into custody. However, the cases against all four defendants would eventually be dropped.
This was because the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that the actions that the men took didn’t rise to the level of a crime. The court ruled that sending text messages to someone who they believed to be a sex worker didn’t mean that they were soliciting prostitution. Ultimately, it was determined that the men had requested the woman’s services digitally as opposed to in a public place. Under state law, a public place would include a sidewalk, bar or other physical space a person could occupy.
The court also found that there was no evidence that Brittany was implied to be under the legal age for sexual contact or that she was a victim of human trafficking. Therefore, the actions of the defendants couldn’t meet the standard of a gross misdemeanor under current law. If convicted, the defendants could have paid a fine of at least $1,500.
Individuals who are charged with sex offenses may be able to get those charges reduced or dismissed. This may occur if it can be shown that a person didn’t solicit a prostitute or have sexual contact with a minor. Legal counsel may be able to help present evidence to a jury that helps to exonerate a defendant. An attorney may also be able to assist in the process of appealing a conviction.