Cottonwood man gets stay in sex sting case
NEW ULM — A 47-year-old Cottonwood man received a stay of imposition Sept. 7 following a three-and-a-half-hour court trial earlier this summer in Brown County District Court.
Paul R. Lund was involved in a sex sting operation that netted eight suspects in Springfield last summer.
He was charged last August with felony prostitution for hiring or agreeing to hire someone he reasonably believed under age 18 but at least 16.
He was fined $3,085, ordered to serve 30 days local confinement, credited with four days served, placed on five years supervised probation and ordered to successfully attend an Offender Prostitution Program and pay fees, not use or possess any firearms, ammunition or explosives, and not register to vote or vote until his probation discharge and his civil rights are fully restored.
According to court documents, the case involved hundreds of text messages sent between the suspects and law enforcement last August. Undercover investigators rented a Springfield residence and acted as 16-year-old females willing to trade sex or sex acts for money or narcotics.
Lund’s defense attorney, Jacob Birkholz of Mankato, accused the State of trying to burden shift, using photos of someone age 18 or older, originally claiming the female was 18, then 16. Lund drove from Cottonwood to Springfield where he was arrested when he entered the residence with $267 on his person, after agreeing to pay for sex with the female for $200 to $250.
Assistant Brown County Attorney Dan Kalk said Lund sought the youngest prostitute he could get and knew he’d been caught.
The undercover sting operation included the Brown and Nicollet County Sheriff’s Offices, New Ulm and Springfield Police and the Mankato Department of Public Safety. The investigation was made possible with grants from the Minnesota Women’s Foundation “Girls Are Not For Sale” campaign and the Minnesota Department of Justice.