Fighting Prostitution: Roseville Police Pose Online As Adult Escorts
An online sting likely led to the 10 late September prostitution-related arrests.
In the last three days of September, Roseville police made 10 arrests at the Days Inn Hotel on Cleveland Avenue as part of a sting operation likely targeting potential prostitution clients.
Roseville Lt. Lorne Rosand wouldn’t speak about the details of the late September operation. But he said that Roseville officers have in the past posted “ads on the web to arrest ‘Johns’ for soliciting violations” and that many arrests at the same location in a short period of time is indicative of that type of operation.
On Backpage.com, a website Rosand mentioned as popular among the region’s prostitutes and clients, a number of ads for euphemistic "adult escorts" are visible for the Roseville area.
Prostitution is an ongoing concern for Roseville police. Since January, there have been at least 28 prostitution-related arrests, including that of a Columbia Heights man sentenced to 21 years for pimping out a 17-year-old girl at the Roseville Days Inn.
In late August, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office held a training session for about 20 hotels and motels and about 75 lodging industry employees in working together with law enforcement to combat prostitution activity.(Click here to see Roseville Patch's report on that training session.)
Rosand said that all of the city’s hotels and motels have been cooperative with police and that, in at least one instance, a Roseville motel provided police with a free room to use during an operation.
Roseville Police Lt. Erika Scheider said that the department’s No. 1 priority in investigating and prosecuting prostitution is to prevent sex trafficking and the exploitation of teenagers.
“One of the main goals of these prostitution stings is to find juveniles and get them out of these situations,” she said.
Scheider also spoke highly of Days Inn, the motel involved in the late September sting.
“We have had calls that have originated over the years from Days Inn staff,” she said. “They’re the type of hotel that doesn’t just turn the other way and not want the police involved. They’re very proactive and they want a positive experience for their guests.”
(The Days Inn general manager could not be reached for comment for this story as of press time.)
Some excerpts from Backpage.com ads written either by escorts or police officers posing as escorts:
- “I'm sweet, discreet and provide an unrushed, sensual erotic session that you will be sure to remember.”
- “VERY DISCRET AN OPENMINDED FULL OF ENERGY FEMALES”
- “Let me melt all of ur stress away, with Total relaxation.”