Plymouth Patch covered a wide variety of stories in 2012. For the rest of the month we’ll be counting down the top ranked stories. These are the stories that you found most interesting.
Hitting the chart at No. 5 is a story about a St. Paul woman charged for promoting prostitution at a Plymouth hotel. Here's the story from April.
Woman Accused of Promoting Prostitution in Plymouth
A St. Paul woman has been charged with promoting prostitution at a Plymouth hotel.
Autumn Brenae Mason, 24, is charged with solicitation, inducement and promotion of prostitution, a felony with a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, compiled by Plymouth Police Officer Amy Goodwin, Plymouth police spotted two ads on Backpage.com on March 29 that appeared to be promoting prostitution in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
The first ad read: “Simply amazing 100 percent real chocolate w/a cream filling, highly addictive, 21,” and was accompanied by risqué photos. The ad said a “two-girl special” was $200, and provided a phone number with a 612 area code.
The second ad, also posted March 29, read: “2 for the price of 1: cherry or chocolate or both,” and listed the same phone number.
An undercover officer called the number and spoke with a woman who was later identified as Mason, according to the complaint. Mason told the officer to drive to the vicinity of Interstate 494 and Highway 55, then call her back for further instructions, the complaint says.
When the officer called back, Mason told him that she was at the Plymouth Days Inn, and asked him to drive there and call again for more directions. When he called again, Mason told him to go to a specific room, according to Goodwin’s account.
A woman met the officer in the room, and he gave her $160 in cash, identification and a condom. The officer asked if he needed to use the condom, and the woman pointed to more condoms on the nightstand and told him that he did need to use one because she “doesn’t do skin-to-skin contact,” according to the complaint.
The officer identified himself and arrested the woman, who admitted being a prostitute and identifying Mason as the person who posted the ads on Backpage.com, according to the complaint. The woman told the officer that Mason took 60 percent of the money she earned and that she kept 40 percent, and said Mason was in the Days Inn lobby, the complaint says.
Other officers in the lobby confronted Mason, who initially gave them a false name and denied knowing the woman in the hotel room, according to the complaint. When police determined her identity, Mason admitted giving the woman a ride to the Days Inn, the complaint says.
A subsequent search of Mason’s property turned up a cell phone that corresponded to the number listed on the Backpage.com ads. Mason also had a laptop computer in her possession that police say she used to post the ads.
Mason is free on her promise to make all future court appearances. An omnibus hearing in her case is scheduled May 8 in Hennepin County District Court.