‘You can order a human being as easily as pizza’

Give credit to Washington County for wanting to find out how pervasive human trafficking is around here.

Now it’s found out. It’s disgustingly bad.

Online solicitations in the metro area of Minneapolis St. Paul in just the first quarter of this year reached 16,000, the Star Tribune’s Kevin Giles reports today.

Imran Ali, the county’s major crimes prosecutor, told county commissioners yesterday that many of the solicitations are for underage girls, and all of them came from just one website, backpage.com, the Village Voice media spinoff.

“The bottom line here is, you can order a human being as easily as you can order a pizza for dinner,” county attorney Mike Orput told commissioners.

  • Lobd

    How awful. God bless all the victims. What can be done?

    • Kassie

      People will often tell you this is a “victimless” crime, so who are talking about being the victim? Keeping in mind of course that the law and the courts see the prostitutes as criminals.

  • lindblomeagles

    In my view, this means a lot of people who we assume our normal, everyday Joes, are not normal everyday Joes. 16,000 solicitations in 3 months is A LOT! Spread out over a year, and at the current rate of 16,000 per quarter, that number rises to 64,000 people by Jan 1, 2017. That population would be about the size of Eagan, Minnesota. This IS A MAJOR PROBLEM, and I can’t help but wonder if too many of us assume the male friends and relatives (and coworkers and bosses ) around us are clean individuals instead of predatory offenders.

    • Kassie

      One of my co-workers got caught in a sting on work hours, so at least I know he is a predator. I assume he is just one of many…

      • Khatti

        You’re a mental health professional right? Would you care to speculate on how much of this goes back to when the so-called predators were themselves under age. I can’t help but wonder how much of this has to do with always wanting to date the captain of the cheerleading squad, but getting shot down.

        • Kassie

          No, I’m not a mental health professional. I worked in Human Services for many years and now I work in IT supporting Human Services, but I have no formal mental health training.

          • Khatti

            Whoops, misunderstood. Sorry.

  • Jeffrey

    The article in the Start Tribune doesn’t say what methodology was used to determine what ads were for underage girls and the Washington County Attorney admits that it is impossible to know. It would be naive to think that there has never been an ad on Backpage for an underage girl, but I think the issue is being hyped. No one would support minors being involved in prostitution, but I think the trafficking problem is being overblown by politicians looking for an issue to grandstand on and law enforcement agencies looking to pad their budgets.