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Baxter man charged in second prostitution sting

BAXTER - A Baxter man was formally charged Friday for agreeing to hire a woman for sex following a second prostitution sting June 23 by Baxter police.

BAXTER - A Baxter man was formally charged Friday for agreeing to hire a woman for sex following a second prostitution sting June 23 by Baxter police.

Kenneth Wayne Kirk, 48, Baxter, was charged with the gross misdemeanor offense and summoned to appear for his first hearing in Crow Wing County District Court on Aug. 3. Kirk was one of two men who responded to fictional online advertisements placed by Baxter police on the "Escort" section of Backpage.com, a classified advertising website often used for arranging paid sex. The other was Tyler Clark Meech, 22, who was transported to the Crow Wing County Jail immediately following his arrest. Kirk was released at the scene at officers' discretion.

According to the criminal complaint, Kirk sent a text message to the number provided in the fictional advertisement and began corresponding with an undercover officer about setting up an appointment.

"Thank you for announcing your arrival," Kirk allegedly stated in a text message. "I was curious about your rates."

Kirk allegedly went on to state he was interested in the "GFE," or girlfriend experience, known to law enforcement as a term used to refer to sexual intercourse. Kirk apparently agreed to one hour of time at 4 p.m., June 23.

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On June 23, officers arrested Kirk on suspicion of soliciting prostitution after he knocked on the door of a hotel room where he believed a woman was waiting. A search of Kirk revealed cash equal to the agreed price and a cellphone with a matching phone number to the one sending text messages to the undercover officer.

This was the second sting operation conducted by the Baxter Police Department in conjunction with the Brainerd Police Department and the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office. The first operation, conducted May 20, resulted in eight men charged with gross misdemeanor soliciting prostitution in a public place.

Related Topics: CROW WING COUNTYBAXTERCRIME
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