Somalis accused in Twin Cities prostitution ring face trial in Nashville

Fifteen defendants are accused of forcing teenage girls into prostitution and operating a sex trafficking ring in the Twin Cities, Ohio and Tennessee. The federal trial is set to begin, with jury selection Tuesday.
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Fifteen defendants are accused of forcing teenage girls into prostitution and operating a sex trafficking ring in the Twin Cities, Ohio and Tennessee. The federal trial is set to begin, with jury selection Tuesday.

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Closing arguments starting in Nashville Somali sex trafficking trial

Closing arguments are starting Wednesday in the trial of nine defendants accused of a sex trafficking conspiracy. Many of the defendants and victims are of Somali descent. The reported crimes stretch from Minnesota to Ohio to Tennessee.

Cultural issues hold up Somali prostitution case

Many of the defendants in an alleged multi-state sex-trafficking ring came to the United States as refugees when they were young children, and defense attorneys argue they were juveniles when they committed the crimes. Police used immigration paperwork to determine their ages, but attorneys say that information is routinely wrong because of cultural and language issues. Now some of the defendants are asking the judge to dismiss the charges because they never had juvenile status hearings.

Trial begins for 9 accused of trafficking children for sex in MN, Tennessee

After several delays the sex trafficking trial is underway in Nashville. In opening arguments prosecutors told jurors they'll hear from a Twin Cities sixth-grader who was forced into prostitution. Defense lawyers say the girl is a runaway who engaged in sex willingly and then concocted the story.

Police cracking down on prostitution in Twin Cities suburb

Undercover officers, often posing as customers answering ads on websites like Backpage.com, are aggressively going after prostitutes and pimps in Plymouth. Police hope recent arrests, as well as more exposure of the problem, will help drive out an industry that often takes advantage of vulnerable people.

Federal jury convicts three, acquits six in Somali sex trafficking trial

The case involved nine of the 30 defendants accused of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of juveniles in Minnesota, Ohio and Tennessee. After five days of deliberations in Nashville, jurors found three men from the Twin Cities guilty and they could be sentenced to life.

Man, 36, charged with having sex with prostituted minors at Twin Cities hotel

A 36-year-old Elko man is facing four counts of engaging in prostitution with minors after he allegedly met two girls, ages 16 and 17, at an Eagan motel for sex. Mickey Albert Cupkie admitted Thursday that he used his smartphone at his St. Paul job to look up the minors on a web site.