Charges Brought For November Rochester Prostitution Crackdown
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)- The Olmsted County Attorney’s Office filed charges Friday against five of the six men arrested as part of a prostitution crack down in Rochester last month.
Prosecutors charged each of the following men with a gross misdemeanor count of Prostitution - Patron - Hires, offers, or agrees to hire to engage in prostitution w/ 18 or older:
- Justin Hitt, 29, Pine Island
- David Thorland, 68, Thompson, IA
- Thomas Klees, 43, Rochester
- Darryl Franklin, 54, Rochester
- Arnaldo Mercado-Perez, 27, Rochester
The criminal complaint accuses each man of answering an advertisement posted to various websites used by people seeking to purchase sexual acts. Law enforcement acquired rooms at Rochester business where undercover officers would chat with people who answered the advertisement via text message.
The charges say the men showed up at the undisclosed business and were then arrested by a uniformed officer or investigator. Each man was searched following their arrest and officers allegedly recovered the following items:
- Hitt- Cell phone and condoms. Hitt also admitted to going to the business to purchase sexual acts
- Thorland- $350
- Klees- Cell phone and condoms. Klees denied going to business to purchase sexual acts
- Franklin- Cell phone, $420 and condoms
- Mercado-Perez- $200 and cell phone
The November 8 sting was a joint operation between the Rochester Police Department, Olmsted County Attorney’s Office and Safe Harbor. Rochester Police Captain Casey Moilanen says local law enforcement will periodically conduct the crackdowns to discourage prostitution activity in Rochester.
The men are scheduled to make their first court appearances in January.