2 guilty in prostitution sting

Published 10:27 am Friday, September 18, 2015

Men sentenced to stayed jail time

By William Morris, Owatonna People’s Press

OWATONNA — Two Steele County men involved in a prostitution sting earlier this year have pleaded guilty to the resulting charges.

The sting operation was conducted on three dates in March and April at hotels in Owatonna and Albert Lea by the South Central Drug Investigation Unit. Fake advertisements were posted on online classified websites, and undercover police officers posing as sex workers arrested a total of 20 suspects to be charged with soliciting prostitution, carrying up to one year imprisonment and a $3,000 fine.

Among the suspects were Lance Madson, 27, of Ellendale and James Nylund, 73, of Owatonna. Court records show Madson was arrested in Owatonna on March 20 after making arrangements by phone to pay two undercover officers $150 each for an hour of sex. He made his initial appearance in Steele County court on Monday, the last of the Owatonna suspects to do so after his attorney filed for a continuance in August.

Madsen pleaded guilty in court Monday to the charge of prostitution in a public place and was sentenced by Judge Joseph Bueltel to 90 days in jail, stayed for one year of probation, and $1,081 in fees and fines.

The other local defendant, Nylund, was arrested April 7 in Albert Lea. The complaint against him states that Nylund responded to an online ad by phone and asked the undercover officer, “What is your donation,” which the complaint notes is a term used to describe payment for sexual contact. He called again twice more to discuss details of the encounter before arriving at the hotel. Officers report Nylund gave the undercover officer money and grabbed her legs before other officers entered the room and arrested him.

Freeborn County court records show that Nylund pleaded guilty at his first court appearance in May. On Sept. 3, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail, stayed for one year of probation, and fines and fees totaling $580.