"> Wisconsin Pastor Arrested in Child Prostitution and Human Trafficking Sting – Ministry Watch

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Wisconsin Pastor Arrested in Child Prostitution and Human Trafficking Sting

A Wisconsin pastor was among six people arrested last week in a solicitation of minors and sex trafficking sting operation carried out by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Jason James Taylor, a pastor at Calvary Chapel Solid Rock in New Richmond, Wisconsin, was among five people booked on probable cause felony solicitation of a minor under 18 years of age for prostitution. A sixth person was charged with promotion of prostitution and sex trafficking.

Investigators with the BCA-led Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force, the East Metro Sex Trafficking Task Force, and the Tribes United Against Sex Trafficking Task Force conducted the operation July 27 to 28 in Stillwater, Wisconsin, and St. Paul.

The suspects had chatted on social media platforms with undercover agents and investigators who posed as minors or sex buyers. Investigators arrested the suspects as they arrived at an arranged meeting place for what they believed would be an encounter with a minor.

Taylor offered to pay an undercover officer he thought was a 17-year-old girl $80 for a sex act, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported, asking for a photo to prove the conversation was with a real person. He was arrested when he arrived at a hotel to meet the girl. 

Four victims also were recovered from trafficking situations as a result of the sting, the BCA said, with victim advocate organization Breaking Free providing services.

An official at Taylor’s church, Pastor Brian Sullivan, told the Pioneer Press that Taylor’s crime and arrest was a “sensitive issue” and presented “a lose-lose scenario for the community and the people impacted by it.”

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“The worst thing is what this will do to his family—and the church family,” Sullivan said. 

Washington County Attorney Kevin Magnuson said the arrests demonstrate that the market for juvenile commercial sex is not confined to limited segments of society. 

“The buyers come from all walks of life, and each are responsible for the tremendous harm to the victims, their families and the public that sex trafficking causes,” he said.

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Anne Stych

Freelance writer, copy editor, proofreader and content manager. Science, technology, retail, etc. writer, ACBJ BizWomen.

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