A Woodbury man must serve two years of probation for agreeing to pay for sex with a person he believed to be younger than 16.
Ernest Dohbila, 39, was convicted in Washington County Aug. 7 on a felony charge of soliciting prostitution with a person he believed was a minor. The sentence included two years of probation and a requirement he complete 112 hours of community work service.
Woodbury police arrested Dohbila last year during an undercover sting targeting prospective sex trafficking customers seeking juvenile victims.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Washington County last year, Dohbila answered one of several Backpage.com and Craigslist ads law enforcement posted as part of the investigation. The posts advertised offerings such as "skipping high school today … wanna teach me?" and "a couple playthings to pass the time."
During Dohbila's communications with officers, whom he believed to be a teenage girl, he asked if he was being "setup" when the officer told him she was almost 16.
The complaint says he later asked for prices and a location to meet after officers reassured him it was not a setup.
Dohbila also asked about the age of another girl, whom the officer told him was also almost 16.
Officers arrested Dohbila at an Oak Park Heights hotel when he arrived at the room he had agreed to meet two girls.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct terms of the sentence and other details related to the arrest.