A 34-year-old self-described pimp has been charged with tricking a 12-year-old girl to come to a Rochester McDonald's, then subjecting her to two terrorizing days of rape and sex trafficking in a Twin Cities motel and in western Minnesota during "dates" with johns arranged through Craigslist.
Lee A. Paul, of Rochester, was indicted Tuesday in federal court in Minneapolis on a charge of sex trafficking a minor. Paul, who has an extensive felony conviction record in Minnesota, was arrested in Georgia after fleeing authorities and remains in federal custody.
According to the indictment and other case filings:
On May 25, 2013, the girl received a text message inviting her to a party and directing her and other girls to meet up at the McDonald's in Rochester. A man and a woman in an SUV picked up the girls. Investigators later learned that the woman had texted the girl under Paul's orders.
Paul later that day took the 12-year-old girl and a 16-year-old girl to the Starlite Motel in the 4700 block of Central Avenue NE. in the Anoka County community of Hilltop, where he said he was a pimp and that the girls had to follow orders or he would abandon them in Minneapolis.
Paul forced the older girl to perform oral sex on him in the SUV. He then raped the 12-year-old girl in the room as she pleaded for him to stop.
In the morning, Paul moved everyone to a hotel in Maple Grove. An unidentified person arrived and took the 12-year-old to Alexandria, Minn. In the meantime, the 16-year-old contacted police, but Paul had fled by the time officers arrived.
In Alexandria, the 12-year-old girl took sexually explicit photos of herself for an ad that was placed on Craigslist, and she was forced to have sex with two Craigslist customers, the court records read.
Paul kept in communication with the 12-year-old girl during these two days, telling her "she or her family would be killed if she told anyone what had happened," the court filings continued.
After two days, law enforcement caught up with Paul and the 12-year-old at a home in Alexandria, where he was apprehended.
After charges in the case were filed against him in Anoka and Olmsted counties, Paul fled the state. He was tracked down in Georgia in January and arrested.
Paul's criminal history in Minnesota spans his entire adult life and includes convictions for stalking, theft, forgery, fraud and assault.