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4 plead guilty of solicitation sting charges; 4 to go to trial

Court appearances for four men charged with soliciting prostitution in law enforcement stings have ended with guilty pleas, while four others will face Crow Wing County juries.

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Court appearances for four men charged with soliciting prostitution in law enforcement stings have ended with guilty pleas, while four others will face Crow Wing County juries. BrainerdDispatch.com Illustration

Court appearances for four men charged with soliciting prostitution in law enforcement stings have ended with guilty pleas, while four others will face Crow Wing County juries.

Three of the four men who pleaded guilty were charged in the first sting conducted by area law enforcement in May 2015, including Brainerd attorney Richard Albert Ohlsen, 72; Kevin Ames Chase, 50, Akeley; and Luke Daniel LaBorde, 32, Crosby. A fourth man who also recently entered a guilty plea-Thomas James Sullivan Jr., 46, Hibbing-was arrested in a third sting conducted in August 2015. The men responded to online advertisements for escort services and then engaged in conversations with undercover police officers, where they solicited sex in exchange for money. Officers involved included those from the Baxter and Brainerd police departments and the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office.

LaBorde and Sullivan were each placed on two years of supervised probation while Ohlsen and Chase received a sentence of two years of unsupervised probation for the gross misdemeanor charges. All were sentenced to one year in the Crow Wing County Jail with that sentence stayed for two years. LaBorde, who was transported to jail at the scene of the sting operation, received credit for 14 days served.

Each was ordered to complete the offenders prostitution program at Breaking Free, a St. Paul-based nonprofit. The program is intended to hold buyers of illegal sex accountable while raising awareness among them on the impacts of sex trafficking. If the offenders did not complete the program, they would be required to serve 30 days in jail.

Terms of probation for the men included random searches of their person, residence, vehicles, electronic devices and social network sites and prohibition of the use of websites promoting escort services or prostitution.

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Four men arrested as a result of the stings are headed to jury trials, according to court records. These include Tyler Clark Meech, who turns 23 years old today, Baxter; Kevin Michael Desmet Groseclose, 28, Little Falls; Brent Michael Seivert, 42, Breezy Point; and Kenneth Wayne Kirk, 49, formerly of Baxter and now of Clarksville, Tenn. Desmet Groseclose and Seivert were each charged in the first sting in May 2015 while Meech and Kirk were charged in the second sting in June 2015. Meech and Desmet Groseclose are set to appear for their trials at 9 a.m. April 25. Seivert and Kirk are scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. July 18.

 

CHELSEY PERKINS may be reached at 218-855-5874 or chelsey.perkins@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchChelsey .

Related Topics: CRIME
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