Maple Grove man pleads guilty to three charges in underage prostitution bust in Cottage Grove
A Maple Grove man admitted to engaging in prostitution with a 16-year-old Cottage Grove girl and pleaded guilty to underage prostitution and child pornography charges.
Corwin Thomas Moose, 44, entered guilty pleas to three felonies March 30 in Washington County District Court in connection with his arrest in a sex trafficking investigation last fall. He’ll be sentenced Aug. 3.
According to the criminal complaint:
A sergeant with the Minneapolis Police Department’s Crimes Against Children Unit learned of a Backpage online advertisement promoting sex trafficking of a 16-year-old girl. The girl, from Cottage Grove, was identified and interviewed. She admitted she posted the ad a month earlier when she was desperate for money. She said she was paid for two sexual encounters, including with a man who she described as weighing as much as 400 pounds. She said he paid $80 to take nude pictures of her and have unprotected sex with her at her home.
The man, later identified as Moose, texted the girl a few weeks after she contacted police, and he wanted to meet with her. The male police sergeant began communicating with Moose as if he was the girl, and made it clear she was under 18. They exchanged 164 texts over 24 hours, and Moose agreed to pay $100 for sex with her and to meet every other week for sex.
After finding out she was under 18, Moose wanted to have sex with her at his house, and told her he would pick up her at a Cottage Grove gas station and take her to his house.
Police arrested Moose when he showed up at the Holiday gas station on Hadley Avenue Oct. 1 ready to pick up the girl.
Moose showed up for the purported meeting with the girl driving a car in which the trunk was lined with a tarp and contained a large empty suitcase and rubber gloves inside. The car registered to his parents in South Dakota, according to the complaint.
Police conducted a forensic search of Moose’s telephone and found messages in which he solicited sexual services from the girl and thanked her after a sexual act. He also had pornographic photos of her on his phone, the complaint says.
Moose pleaded guilty to engaging in prostitution with a 16-year-old; using a minor in pornography; and possessing child pornography.