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Defendants challenge prostitution charges

Two of the men accused of soliciting prostitution in a public place at Baxter hotels are contesting the gross misdemeanor charges against them and a third man is headed for a jury trial.

Two of the men accused of soliciting prostitution in a public place at Baxter hotels are contesting the gross misdemeanor charges against them and a third man is headed for a jury trial.

Attorney Dennis Lothspeich, who represents Brent Michael Seivert, 42, Breezy Point, and Kenneth Wayne Kirk, 49, Baxter, filed pretrial motions asking the charges be dismissed due to a lack of probable cause.

Seivert was arrested and transported to Crow Wing County Jail as part of a May law enforcement operation conducted by area agencies. Charges were filed against Kirk in a second operation conducted in June. The operations involved a fictitious advertisement for an escort placed on an online classified advertising website.

"I don't believe they are guilty of what they are charged with," Lothspeich said. "I don't believe they are gross misdemeanor offenses if they are crimes at all. ... There are no actual prostitutes here. They are accused of making a phone call to a police officer."

Kevin Ames Chase, 50, Akeley, who was charged in the May operation, is scheduled to appear before a jury Jan. 4, 2016, after he entered a not guilty plea in September. Attorney Blair Nelson represents Chase.

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Attorney Richard Albert Ohlsen, 71, Brainerd, who was among the eight men charged in May, was originally scheduled to appear for a court hearing Oct. 5. With a continuance granted, Ohlsen's next appearance will be at a plea hearing Nov. 9.

Ohlsen's case was moved to Itasca County after all Crow Wing County judges recused themselves. An official with court administration said it's standard practice for judges to recuse themselves when they have a history of directly working with the subject. Ohlsen has practiced law in Minnesota since April 1976, according to the Minnesota Judicial Branch website.

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

Chelsey Perkins is the community editor of the Brainerd Dispatch. A lakes area native, Perkins joined the Dispatch staff in 2014. She is the Crow Wing County government beat reporter and the producer and primary host of the "Brainerd Dispatch Minute" podcast.
Reach her at chelsey.perkins@brainerddispatch.com or at 218-855-5874 and find @DispatchChelsey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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