Brandon D. Barnes, charged with allegedly arranging prostitution trysts involving a 16-year-old runaway, her 17-year-old friend and male customers solicited through online ads, entered an Alford plea of guilt to promoting prostitution in Ramsey County District Court Monday.
Barnes, 24, whose trial was to begin Monday, never admitted that he promoted prostitution or sex trafficking with a minor, but he did agree that there was a high likelihood that Prosecutor Richard Dusterhoft would be able to prove the facts beyond a reasonable doubt. He had faced three felony charges.
He's the last of three men who were arrested by police for alleged prostitution with these teens to be convicted in the case, which involved Backpage.com solicitations, court papers say.
Giorgio J. Baymon, 25, is to be sentenced on Feb. 28, also for arranging prostitution. Mickie Cupkie, 37, of Elko, is to be sentenced the same day on two counts of hiring minors for prostitution. Barnes is to be sentenced March 1.