06:09 GMT04 June 2020
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    The Minneapolis Police Department is discontinuing prostitution stings following three criminal prostitution cases being dismissed in the last month due to the officers engaging in sexual activities with the sex workers.

    While the practices of their undercover officers are being reviewed, none of the three officers who participated in the sex acts are under investigation on a personal level.

    "The Minneapolis Police Department is taking immediate action by reviewing these cases," Police Chief Janeé Harteau said in a statement. "We are no longer using undercover operations to investigate suspected prostitution in massage businesses."

    In a case which was dismissed on August 7, the undercover officer did not negotiate a price for the sex acts until after the woman in question was already fondling his genitals.

    "This behavior is completely unnecessary to the evidence gathering process, to prove prostitution police need only show that there's an agreement of sex for money," the woman’s attorney Jeff Dean argued. "The judge ruled that the police officer's sexual conduct was outrageous and violated due process and that the charges should therefore be dismissed."

    He went on to represent the same woman in another case which was also dismissed on Monday.

    He pointed out that six years ago, the laws were changed so that officers did not need to engage in sexual contact with the subject of their investigation- but that officers continue to do so anyways.

    "This was a published decision by the Minnesota Court of Appeals putting the police department on notice that this type of conduct is outrageous, unconstitutional and must be stopped," Dean said. "Yet the very same police department, even with that clear notice, continues to engage in the same outrageous conduct."

    On Tuesday, a third prostitution case was dismissed when the public defender argued that the officer was naked and receiving a topless massage from the defendant. A transcript of the audio recording noted that the undercover repeatedly commented on the woman’s body and then asks if he should "roll over,” MPN News reported.

    After the officer rolled over, moans were heard on the recording until other police barged in to complete the raid.

    An attorney for the officer argued that the cop didn’t think there would be enough evidence unless a sex act was performed.

    "If undercover women can make cases in undercover work without any kind of sexual contact, why is it that men seem to have this kind of issue?" The woman’s public defender asked.


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    Prostitution, Minneapolis Police Department, Minneapolis
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