Man arrested, charged with hiring prostitute
A 19-year-old man faces a felony prostitution charge after authorities say he agreed to pay for sex with a 15-year-old female.
Ochan Okello Ochan, of Rochester, made his first appearance Monday in Olmsted County District Court. He remains in custody in lieu of $20,000 conditional bond and is due back in court Nov. 16.
The case began Friday morning, when a member of the Rochester police street crimes unit placed an advertisement in the escort section of Backpage.com, a website that contains a section for adult services. Members of the unit often monitor the site and place false ads to target people involved in prostitution, or respond to ads placed by others.
The phone number in the ad was linked to a phone an undercover officer was using.
About two hours after the ad was placed, a man — later identified as Ochan — called and asked about services. The officer said she was busy, but had a 15-year-old friend who was available; according to the complaint, Ochan was told at least three other times that the friend was 15.
Ochan agreed to meet and pay the 15-year-old $50 for sexual services, court documents say. He was arrested at the meeting place and searched; officers allegedly found $50 in cash and a condom in his pocket.
Ochan reportedly admitted he planned to have sex with the girl, but thought she was 18. He eventually acknowledged that he'd been told the girl was 15, the complaint says, and that he'd found the ad on Backpage.com.