The 19-year-old woman, who admitted advertising underage prostitutes online, likely faces five years in prison.
A 19-year-old Eagan woman likely faces five years in federal prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to advertising underage prostitutes on the popular Internet bulletin board Craigslist.org.
Investigators believe that Justine Alex Reisdorf, also known as "Deja," operated a prostitution ring of high school students through a condominium and a Burnsville motel where she had worked. They said she advertised in the "erotic services" section of Craigslist, as well with as the "Live Links" telephone chat line.
As part of a plea agreement, Reisdorf admitted placing an ad in February on Craigslist, and the government agreed to dismiss a charge of sex trafficking of a minor.
Federal sentencing guidelines recommended a prison term of 6½ to eight years, but the maximum term allowed by statute is five years in prison, followed by up to three years of supervised release.
U.S. District Judge Patrick J. Schiltz wondered how common it was for the minimum recommended sentence to exceed the statutory maximum in such cases. He said it was highly unusual in drug cases, to which he is more accustomed.
The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald, estimated that it occurs in about a fifth of these cases.
The sentencing guideline calculations reflected enhancements because a computer was used in the crime, because it involved a commercial sex act, and because Reisdorf had allegedly threatened a minor witness within hours after her release from jail.
Schiltz explained to Reisdorf that because the statute trumps the advisory guidelines, the "most likely sentence you will receive is the statutory maximum" of five years in prison. Reisdorf waived her appeal unless Schiltz sentences her to more than five years in prison, which would almost certainly be overturned.
Eagan Police Detective Kurt Bratulich initiated the investigation in December after one of the girls who allegedly worked for Reisdorf confided in him. The Federal Bureau of Investigation took over the case "once we found that the Internet was used and that the victims were underage," he said in a July interview.
Dan Browning 612-673-4493
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