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Maubach sentenced to 19 years on sex trafficking charges

Shaun Maubach

A Mahtomedi man faces an 19-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to felony sex trafficking charges involving at least two women.

Shaun Maubach, 32, told a Washington County court Wednesday, Sept. 6 that he "ran security" for a commercial sex operation in which buyers paid $300 to $1,000 an hour for sex.

Woodbury police arrested Maubach at a Woodbury hotel June 20 on active warrants for burglaries in Washington state and Kansas.  

According to a criminal complaint filed June 30 in Washington County, Maubach claimed to be a "pimp"  who was "running 6 girls" in text messages detectives found on his phone.

Detectives also found photos and videos on his phone depicting commercial sex trade, as well as a texting app that generates multiple phone numbers.

Maubach told the court during the hearing that he "doesn't know of any videos" of the activity and "had nothing to do with any videos."

Police traced a second phone belonging to Maubach to more than a dozen backpage.com postings advertising commercial sex. A woman who appeared in several of the posts appeared in more than 100 other advertisements in Colorado, Kansas and Minnesota.

Text conversations on the phone also discussed robbing commercial sex buyers, along with photos of Maubach wearing a ski mask holding a handgun.

A police investigation of Maubach began after he posted bail for fugitive charges. An undercover officer texted Maubach in response to a Backpage.com listing June 28 and arranged to meet at an Oakdale apartment for commercial sex costing $250 an hour.

A woman police approached at the apartment told them Maubach used a phone app to track her location and that he could "see and hear everything" when her phone was on. Officers arrested Maubach when he arrived at the apartment.

As part of his plea agreement, evidence from Maubach's case in Washington County can only be accessed by other jurisdictions through a subpoena. He also faces human trafficking charges in Ramsey County.

During his Sept. 6 sentencing, Maubach told the Washington County court that one of the women would post advertisements for commercial sex online and communicate with potential buyers, while he would address any "security problems."

He also said that he "never mistreated any of the women."

"Not once did I put hands on them," he said.

Minnesota state law does not require any violence, force or fraud for sex trafficking charges, but Washington County Major Crimes Attorney Imran Ali said evidence indicates that those characteristics were not absent in Maubach's case.

"Contrary to the defendant's assertion in court, law enforcement did recover evidence illustrating an often violent and threatening relationship that the defendant had with his victims," Ali said.

During the sentencing, Ali said Maubach's conviction points to a "decade-long pattern" of trafficking women.

In 2010, Maubach was convicted in Anoka County of receiving proceeds from sex trafficking stemming from a 2007 incident. He was credited for 85 days spent in jail.

His criminal record also includes felony convictions for robberies and burglaries in the Twin Cities Metro.

"I think that in any of these cases, the victim comes first," Ali said, adding that Maubach's previous conviction and charges in other jurisdictions "paint a picture that this defendant has a history of being exploitative to women and the lengthy sentence justifies his conduct."

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