Cases against Prostitutes Dismissed Because Undercover Officers ‘Went Too Far’

Photo of author

( — August 24, 2015) — The Minneapolis PD had to ‘pull a plug’ on the street prostitution sting operation after the court dismissed three cases in one month because undercover officers were using their suspects services up to the full extent, FOX9 reported.

Minneapolis PD announced an internal investigation on the matter, however, the three police officers whose conduct during sting operation made convictions impossible, will be the excluded from the investigation.

According to a statement signed by the Police Chief Janeé Harteau “The Minneapolis Police Department is taking immediate action by reviewing these cases… We are no longer using undercover operations to investigate suspected prostitution in massage businesses.”

One case was dismissed after evidence was presented in court implying that the officer who made the arrest went ‘too far.’ During the sting operation in a massage parlor, the audio recording showed the officer who represented a customer, asking a masseuse if she wanted him to roll over on his back. Before the under cover officer called the code for backup for an arrest, the recording revealed he enjoyed the action, Star Tribune reported.

“The Police Department has undercover female officers who do detail like this,” Hennepin County chief public defender, Mary Moriarty commented on the case. “Do you think they would allow themselves to behave in any sort of sexual manner?”

The other two dismissed cases were strikingly similar, as police officers acting as customers in other massage parlors negotiated prices for more than a massage while the masseuse was working on his private parts.

Attorney Jeffrey Dean, who represented the woman in both cases expressed his hope that the Police Department will “finally stop engaging in the outrageous conduct of having sexual relations with the targets of their investigations.”

“Women in prostitution are vulnerable and traumatized,” Dean told FOX9. “They have often been the victims of physical and sexual abuse and suffer from poverty and addiction. When police engage in this unnecessary sexual conduct, the officer worsens the trauma and deepens the damage,” he added.

Officers involved in the dismissed cases defended themselves that they believed their actions were necessary to build a case. However, the 2009 decision stated that sexual conduct with a suspect during a sting is “outrageous conduct and in violation of the guarantees of due process in the United States and Minnesota constitutions” and “unnecessary to any reasonable investigation.”

Dean noted that six years later “the very same police department, even with that clear notice, continues to engage in the same outrageous conduct.”