St. Paul man charged with pimping out 17-year-old girl


A man has been charged after prosecutors say he forced a 17-year-old girl to perform sex acts for money after she was kicked out of her mother's house.

Damon DiMartino, 40, of St. Paul, was charged Monday with promoting prostitution of a minor, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said in a news release. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

This is the first person to be charged following Orput's announcement last week that the county had formed a coalition to fight sex trafficking and help victims.

“We pledged last week to come down hard on those individuals who traffic our youth and rob them of their innocence. We will do that here. I sincerely hope that those traffickers will hear this message and know that Washington County carries a big stick," Orput said in the release.

According to the criminal complaint, police investigating a domestic disturbance call discovered the 17-year-old was being prostituted, the news release says. The complaint alleges in at least one incident DiMartino – her "pimp" – drove her to a hotel in St. Paul where she performed two types of sexual acts.

She was paid $250 for the encounter, but she was allowed to keep just $40, the release notes.

The Pioneer Press says the victim, who is now 18, had been kicked out of her house and was living with friends when she met DiMartino, who said if she wanted to borrow money she had to "work for it."

She started by stripping on party buses, before he began arranging for her to have sex for money, the paper notes.

She told investigators she believed she was his property, KSTP reprots.

Court records show DiMartino has a long criminal history that includes criminal sexual conduct convictions in 1999 and 2013, as well as several traffic violations.

Washington County now has three active underage prostitution cases, Orput told the Star Tribune.

Next Up

pixabay - us supreme court

MN, WI attorney generals push SCOTUS to block to Texas abortion law

They say the law is in "direct contravention of nearly a half century of binding precedent."

Piper Cherokee

UND student killed in plane crash near Minnesota border

The crash happened Monday night just west of the Minnesota border.

fake airpods

Border officials seize hundreds of fake AirPods at International Falls

The AirPods were in a rail container headed for Ranier.

Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen

With Patrick Peterson injured, Vikings need to unleash the offense

Peterson's absence could have a bigger effect on the opposite side of the ball.

Cam Wiley

Gophers running back Cam Wiley announces plan to transfer

Wiley found himself buried on the depth chart.

sun country

Sun Country adds 7 new routes from MSP Airport this spring

It's also resuming four routes from the Twin Cities.

Walz, Flanagan

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz launches re-election campaign

Their campaign slogan: "One Minnesota. Moving Forward."


Driver dies in single-vehicle crash in Ham Lake

The crash happened around 4:30 p.m. Monday.


Driver charged in death of 16-year-old St. Paul girl

The Ramsey County Attorney's office Friday charged a 50-year-old St. Paul man with one count of criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the death of 16-year-old Clarisse Grime of St. Paul. Carlos Viveros-Colorado is accused of striking Grime with his SUV Thursday while she was sitting on a shady patch of grass.

St. Paul teen, 17, to be tried as adult in gang rape of 14-year-old girl

The Ramsey County Juvenile Court Friday certified one of the four juveniles charged in an alleged gang rape of a 14-year-old girl to stand trial as an adult. Jim Her, 17, of St. Paul, was among the four boys and five men involved in the alleged November incident in a house on White Bear Avenue in St. Paul.