Robbinsdale’s former police chief pleaded guilty to engaging in prostitution earlier this year and was sentenced Thursday in Anoka County District Court.
Steven Smith was charged in March with the misdemeanor offense after being arrested in a Coon Rapids prostitution sting. At Thursday’s hearing, Smith received a stay of adjudication, which means that the conviction will not be on his record if he completes probation and other conditions.
It’s a common outcome for prostitution cases, Coon Rapids City Attorney David Brodie said. “We’re not trying to saddle them with a conviction for the rest of their lives … we want them to get the education they need,” he said.
In Smith’s case, that means he has a year of probation, needs to complete an anti-prostitution program, forfeit the $150 he paid in the prostitution sting and pay $300. If he does that, the case will be dismissed, although the arrest will remain on record.
If he had been convicted, the state police board would have reprimanded him, suspended his license or revoked it. But without a conviction, Smith will still be licensed in Minnesota.
Smith, 45, of Ham Lake, was arrested along with 10 other men in the Feb. 20 prostitution sting. An undercover police officer posted an ad on BackPage.com with sexually suggestive photos and language, inviting clients to a private residence, where they would be charged between $100 and $150 per hour.
Smith, who is married and has children, showed up that afternoon with $150 in cash, using the alias “Scott.”
He didn’t inform the city about the arrest until announcing his resignation more than a month later after news surfaced of the incident, drawing national attention.