Brooten Man Pleads Guilty to Soliciting Girl for Prostitution
ST. CLOUD -- A Brooten man will be sentenced in February after pleading guilty to soliciting an under-18-year-old girl to practice prostitution. Twenty-four-year-old Christopher Barkley Jr. agreed to the plea agreement Thursday and will be sentenced February 7th.
Investigators began investigating a possible sex trafficking case in January 2017 after receiving Facebook messages between Barkley and a then-17-year-old girl. Police say the messages were from October 2016 and detailed how Barkley was recruiting the girl to engage in prostitution.
Investigators interviewed the girl in June 2017 and she claimed to not know what the messages meant and began to cry.
Court records show officers then interviewed Barkley while investigating another case where Barkley was allegedly trying to traffic a different woman. According to the criminal complaint, Barkley admitted to sending the messages to the girl but claimed they were just "talk" and nothing came of it.
As part of the plea agreement, a charge of sex trafficking is expected to be dismissed.