Did St. Paul police use shady tactics to arrest alleged child sex solicitor Robert Hagen?
Robert Hagen's mugshot
Over the past week or so, the St. Paul Police Department has engaged in an online sting operation against alleged Craigslist casual encounters child sex solicitors.
One of them was Minneapolis middle school teacher Joel Fowler. (Read his sordid story here.) Another was 43-year-old Robert Hagen.
But Hagen, unlike Fowler, didn't specifically post that he was looking for sex with teens. In fact, he didn't specify what age he was looking for at all.
Here's the personal ad that landed Hagen behind bars and facing a felony:
Depraved? Hey, it's a free country. But illegal? Clearly not. Hagan, however, got himself in trouble thanks to how he handled a reply from an undercover cop who claimed to be a 15-year-old girl.
Here, according to a criminal complaint, is how that went:
[St. Paul PD Sergeant Jeff] Keller responded to the ad posing as a 15-year-old girl. Keller told the poster that he was a 15-year-old female. Keller sent the poster a photograph of a female police officer's bare feet. The posted replied, "I don't know about you being 15, though." Keller replied, "Why? Too young 4 you?" The poster replied, "No. Could mean trouble for me. Whereabouts are you in St Paul?" The poster asked about Keller's availability and requested a face picture. Keller sent an age regress picture of a female police officer. The poster suggested that the two of them meet the next day. He stated that he was across the river near downtown St. Paul.
Though Hagen said he didn't even have enough money to buy condoms, the "girl" agreed to meet him the next day at Cherokee Park anyway, the complaint says. (Hagen did say he's STD-free, at least.) He promised to bring lube and gave the "girl" his real first name.
Hagen was arrested when he showed up, three hours late. He confessed he was there to meet a girl and had a jar of petroleum jelly in his pocket. After being hauled to jail, he refused to speak to authorities without an attorney present.
For posting his perverted Craigslist ad and then agreeing to meet for sex with a minor who wasn't who she said she was, Hagen now faces up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
To read the criminal complaint for yourself, click to page two.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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