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Prostitution charge nets stayed jail term

A Mason City, Iowa, man who walked into an undercover investigation of a prostitution operation has been sentenced to a year in jail, stayed for two years.

John Henry Brinkman, 78, was charged in October with one count of prostitution-patron; he pleaded guilty Monday. Olmsted County District Court Judge Robert Birnbaum also ordered him to complete an intervention program for men who use prostitutes, as well as pay a fine of $1,085.

The case began in late September, when an undercover officer with the Rochester Police Department responded to an advertisement in the escort section of Backpage.com, a website that contains a section for adult services. Members of the Rochester police street crimes unit often monitor the site and place false ads to target people involved in prostitution, or respond to ads placed by others.

The undercover officer and the woman who answered his message arranged to meet; members of law enforcement performing surveillance of the hotel then waited for the woman to give the officer a room number.

As they waited, they saw a man — later identified as Brinkman — approach the room they suspected the woman was operating from, the complaint says. An investigator put her ear to the wall, court documents say, and was able to hear conversation between a male and female, including the mention of $75.


She continued to listen, but was unable to make out any substance of the conversation. About 25 minutes later, Brinkman left the room and was arrested.

He allegedly told investigators he'd found the ad on Backpage.com, had paid the woman $150 for a "limited" massage. According to the complaint, it focused on his genital area.

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