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Man, 20, charged with prostituting Woodbury woman through Craigslist

A 20-year-old St. Paul man accused of prostituting a Woodbury woman through Craigslist was booked Friday into Washington County jail.

The suspect, Darnell Steven Cox, was charged in October 2010 with promoting prostitution of an individual, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Washington County District Court, Cox spoke in 2009 with a then- 20-year-old Woodbury woman about becoming a prostitute.

In an interview with Woodbury police, the woman - who worked under the name Ginger Babi - said Cox asked, "Would you spend time with some guys and make us some money?"

After agreeing to the proposition, Cox almost immediately posted an advertisement on Craigslist. The Woodbury woman told police she began performing sex acts for money out of her Ashwood Road apartment shortly after.

The woman, who reported prostitution made her scared, told police that on some occasions she asked Cox to "not make me do this any more," to which she was told by Cox, "This is money."

Cox allegedly set the prices stated on Craigslist and collected money from the woman.

Police said they were able to track Cox through the Craigslist postings, which allegedly listed his cell phone as the contact number. Police said that phone was also used to authenticate the Craigslist user account.

On one occasion, Cox used his brother's credit card to pay for the ad posting, according to the complaint.

In three other instances, he allegedly used his grandmother's credit card to pay for a Craigslist ad.

In an interview with police, the woman said Cox had called her and asked to use the card "for some small purchases related to a phone or something like that for a female friend" of his, the complaint states. Police said the grandmother said she knew of Cox's female friend going by the name Ginger.

Cox was booked and released Friday from Washington County jail. A warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to appear at a Dec. 15, 2010, court hearing.

The Washington County Attorney's Office said his next court date is not yet scheduled.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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