County seeks prostitution convictions, not just charges
Damon DiMartino, 40, of St. Paul, was charged in Washington County District Court with promoting prostitution of a minor. The victim was 17.
As promised by County Attorney Pete Orput, the sex-trafficking charges come on the heels of a press conference about a comprehensive plan organizing all law enforcement agencies in the county against prostitution and other major crimes. Assistant county attorney Imran Ali took the job of county’s major crimes specialist and a grant has allowed the county to invest in two years of crime analysis, as the coalition of prosecutors, law enforcement, and social services agencies takes on a growing industry.
“We pledged (Nov. 18) to come down hard on those individuals who traffic our youth and rob them of their innocence. We will do that here,” Orput said in a Nov. 23 press release about the charges levied against DiMartino, after a press conference to announce a coalition of Washington County. “I sincerely hope that those traffickers will hear this message and know that Washington County carries a big stick.”
According to the criminal complaint against DiMartino, the Forest Lake girl was living with friends in June 2015 when she met DiMartino. She asked to borrow money from him, which led to her working as a stripper on party buses for a week before starting to perform sexual acts during the parties, with DiMartino keeping most of the money she was paid. He also provided the girl drugs and alcohol, the complaint said, and used the girl to distribute drugs he sold.
Cell phone data also showed evidence of DiMartino soliciting and promoting the girl’s prostitution.
“There is a party bus on Saturday that needs strippers you interested?” one Aug. 20 text said.
On Aug. 21, DiMartino texted “Are you willing to go full service?” referring to the performance of sex acts with five to 10 men for $50 each.
In the complaint, the girl said she had been punched and slapped during various prostitution acts and that if she ever did anything wrong “there would be consequences,” she said. DiMartino likes to have “angry sex,” putting his hands around his partner’s neck, the victim said. After she threatened to leave the situation, DiMartino told her “he was going to get me,” she told police.
DiMartino is scheduled to appear in court on Monday. He is being held on $150,000 bail with conditions, including GPS monitoring, or $500,000 bail without conditions.
Man with the tarp
Corwin Thomas Moose, 43, of Maple Grove, posted non-cash bond and was conditionally released last month.
In October, he was charged with engaging in prostitution with a 16-year-old and agreeing to hire a 16-year-old for prostitution, after arriving to meet a minor at a Cottage Grove gas station with a tarp, rubber gloves and an empty suitcase in his trunk.
Moose had been held in lieu of $50,000 bail with conditions or $250,000 bail without conditions. He has been ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim. He is due back in court next month.
Heading to court
Others have been arrested, and with the recent dedication of a new Major Crimes Prosecution Unit at the county level, Ali and crime analyst Brooke Olson are focused on seeing charges through to conviction.
Woodbury area pending dispositions related to sex with minors include:
- Kevin Michael Aylward, 59, of Burnsville, arrested during a September 2015 prostitution sting at Red Roof Inn in Woodbury, contested omnibus hearing scheduled for next month;
- Sarah Katlyn Bartlett, 21, of Sacramento, Calif., solicitation of a child through electronic communication to engage in sexual conduct, regarding a St. Paul Park girl, scheduled to appear in court this month;
- Benjamin Charles Beery, 37, of Mounds View, arrested and released during a 2014 sting at Red Roof Inn, scheduled to appear in court next week;
- Brent Allen Fredrickson, 38, of Eagan, arrested in 2014 at Red Roof Inn, scheduled to appear in court next week;
- Christopher Scott Henderson, 29, of Champlin, arrested in 2014 at Red Roof Inn, scheduled to appear in court this month;
- Gordon Patrick Jones, 33, of Clayton, Wis., arrested in September at Red Roof Inn, scheduled to appear in court next week;
- Ryan Brook Meredith, 33, of Woodbury, arrested in 2014 at Red Roof Inn, scheduled to appear in court this month;
- Nathan John Mravinc, 35, of Hudson, Wis., arrested in September at Red Roof Inn, omnibus hearing scheduled for next month;
- Brian Patrick O’Boyle, 34, of St. Paul Park, arrested in 2014 at Red Roof Inn, omnibus hearing scheduled for next month;
- Luis Angel Ponce, 20, of Cottage Grove, arrested in September at Red Roof Inn, omnibus hearing scheduled for this month;
- Chad Allen Schroeder, 43, of Minneapolis, arrested in September at Red Roof Inn, jury trial scheduled for next month;
- Kyle Michael Segermark, 21, of Gem Lake, arrested in September at Red Roof Inn, omnibus hearing scheduled for next week;
- Paul Dean Skaggs, 50, of Martha, Ky., arrested in September at Red Roof Inn, omnibus hearing scheduled for next week;
- Michael Leonard Tallman, 30, of Coon Rapids, arrested in 2014 at Red Roof Inn, scheduled to appear in court next month;
- Ian Laurence Walford, 35, of Lake Elmo, arrested in 2014 at Red Roof Inn, scheduled to appear in court this month.