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Minnesota Man Arrested for Prostituting Wife

Clinton Danner's arrest raises questions about Craigslist's culpability in sex trafficking—and about the church's response to criminal offenders.

A Rockford, Minnesota, man was arrested in Chicago two weeks ago for prostituting his wife using Craigslist, transporting her in a van to hotels in eight states and threatening to take away their 3-year-old daughter should she not comply.

Clinton Danner, 32, met his wife five years ago when she was a 17-year-old attending her family's church. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Danner held a criminal record for burglary, lottery fraud, and drugs, but was working with a church counselor to change his life. The couple was wed at the church a few months after the young woman became pregnant.

The woman, whose name has not been released due to her victim status, told her parents about Danner a year ago and tried to leave him. Then, while at a downtown Chicago hotel in mid-March, she contacted Polaris Project for help. Founded in 2002, Polaris Project is one of the largest U.S. organizations battling human trafficking. Its hotline, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, gets 400 to 500 phone calls every month.

The woman's call led to the Cook County Sheriff's Department involvement and Danner's arrest March 14. Several metro areas in the U.S. are attempting to change their approach to prostitution, and Cook County has made great strides. The city has educated its police force to better recognize child prostitution and to view prostitutes as victims instead of criminals. (Oftentimes, prostitutes—even if they are minors—are arrested instead of their pimps or clients.) ...

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