Two different police departments made contact with sex trafficking victims and a suspect at two different times last July 7, and both times officers failed to identify the crime at hand. In the first encounter, Inver Grove Heights police cited the suspect with a traffic violation. In the second, St. Paul police responded to a home and left when they were told “simply a fight had occurred.”
It wasn’t until three months later that a concerned grandmother’s e-mail prompted police to more closely investigate the suspect, Otis D. Washington, his brother, the men’s two uncles and one of the suspect’s former girlfriends. Earlier this month, the five of them were charged in Ramsey County District Court with allegedly running a sex trafficking ring that spanned St. Paul to Ely and victimized at least 10 vulnerable girls and women, including the ones police encountered at 3:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. on July 7.
Source: Star Tribune