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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Bloomington Man Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Trafficking 12-Year Old And 16-Year-Old Girls For Commercial Sex

United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota Andrew M. Luger today announced the sentencing of LEE ANDREW PAUL, a/k/a “Black,” 36, to 33 years in prison for sex trafficking three victims, two minor girls and one young woman. On March 18, 2015, a superseding indictment charged PAUL with trafficking all three victims. On December 11, 2015, following a five-day trial before U.S. District Judge Ann D. Montgomery, a federal jury convicted PAUL of all charged counts.

“I remain amazed at the courage and fortitude shown by the young victims who stood up to Paul and who took back from him the power he tried to exert over them. Everything about Paul’s conduct belies any notion that he can be trusted to walk the streets ever again. My office is committed to prosecuting human traffickers like Paul and bringing to justice anyone who would exploit and abuse the most vulnerable in our community,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger. 

“The defendant is a remorseless predator. He is a rapist, an exploiter of women and children, and an unquestionable danger to our society. Every day the defendant is behind bars is a day that our community is safer” said Assistant United States Attorney Melinda A. Williams.

“The buying and selling of children for commercial sex acts is among the most despicable of crimes and Mr. Paul's conviction represents a great victory in taking such criminals off our streets and out of our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Alex Khu of HSI St. Paul. “HSI has had the honor of working with some of the best law enforcement partners available to see that this criminal spends a long time behind bars.”

As proven at trial, PAUL is a self-proclaimed “pimp.” During Memorial Day weekend of 2013, PAUL sought out a 12-year-old sixth grader to join his sex trafficking “family.” He lured the 12-year-old and a 16-year-old girl to a party at a motel in Rochester, Minn., where he gave them marijuana and alcohol. PAUL announced that he was a pimp and told the young victims they would be working for him. PAUL took the girls to the Twin Cities where they knew no one. PAUL sexually assaulted the 16-year-old victim and brutally raped the 12-year-old.

As proven at trial, while at a motel in Maple Grove, Minn., that same weekend, the 16-year-old victim escaped PAUL and found a police officer and reported what had happened to her. However, PAUL had been tipped off that the 16-year-old victim was trying to find the police and PAUL fled the scene. He then directed another victim, this one 19-years-old, to take the 12-year-old victim to Alexandria, Minn., to “show her the ropes.” The 12-year-old was sold two times that night for sex with men. Law enforcement arrested PAUL on the morning of May 27, 2013, and was in jail pending state charges in Olmsted and Anoka Counties until he made bail on August 26, 2013. PAUL fled in July 2014 on the eve of his Olmsted County trial.

As proven at trial, while on the run, PAUL got rid of his cell phone and shut down his Facebook page to avoid being tracked by law enforcement. He fled first to Chicago, Ill., and then Atlanta, Ga., where he lived under two different assumed identities and used “burner” phones to avoid being tracked by law enforcement. He was arrested on January 14, 2015 by the U.S. Marshals Service and brought back to Minnesota to face federal charges.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Marshal’s Service, Rochester Police Department, Alexandria Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, Pope County Sheriff’s Office, and the Maple Grove Police Department.

This case was prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger, Assistant U.S. Attorney Melinda A. Williams, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Gustafson. The United States Attorney’s Office thanks the Olmsted County Attorney’s Office for its substantial assistance in the prosecution of this case.

 

Defendant Information:

LEE ANDREW PAUL, a/k/a “Black,” 36

Bloomington, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Sex Trafficking of a Minor by Force, Fraud, and Coercion, 2 counts
  • Sex Trafficking by Force, Fraud, and Coercion, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 33 years in prison

 

 

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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600

Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated September 21, 2016