September 22, 2022
ST PAUL, Minn. — Editor’s note: The video above first aired on KARE 11 on June 15, 2022.
Three months after pleading guilty to a massive sextortion scheme, 31-year-old Yue Vang was sentenced to more than four decades in prison.
At the federal courthouse in St. Paul Wednesday, Judge Eric Tostrud handed down Vang’s 43-year sentence. Vang, who’s from St. Paul, was initially charged with two counts of production of child pornography, one count of possession of child pornography, and one count of interstate communications with intent to extort.
“Mr. Vang’s conduct was calculated and cruel. It caused unbounded and everlasting harm,” Judge Tostrud said.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, from 2015 through 2020 Vang “adopted the personae of real minor girls” and posed as real people to get other young victims to produce and send him child pornography. When they refused, Vang threatened to and did release their sexually explicit images and videos.
“This is the largest sextortion case in the country,” said FBI Supervisory Special Agent Brenda Born.
Read the full story by Alexandra Simon on Kare 11.
August 10, 2021
Lawmakers have approved changes to Minnesota’s sex trafficking laws that were requested by the Central Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force, including Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall.
The task force had discovered the limits of existing laws after three years of cracking down on trafficking.
One new change will classify sex trafficking as a violent crime.
The changes were added to the state budget and approved in June.
They fall into five categories. Here’s a brief summary of those categories from Kendall:
- “Increased recognition of trafficking as a violent crime and danger to public safety — these crimes regularly involve violence, and the danger to victims and others is high;
- Statutory maximum sentences needed to be increased to recognize that many traffickers already have significant criminal histories;
- Increased consequences for sex buyers, recognizing that demand drives trafficking, where trafficking occurs (public or private place) should not be a factor, and there should be increased consequences for repeat offenders;
- Increased protection of victims and children through higher supervision and crime levels for solicitation of children 15 years old and younger;
- Increased penalties to deter trespassing at emergency shelter or transitional housing.”
Read the full story by Nora G. Hertel on SC Times.