8 men busted in prostitution sting, investigation leads to rescue of trafficked juvenile

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ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 News) – The arrest of eight men during a prostitution sting led to the rescue of a juvenile who had been human trafficked in St. George over the weekend. 

Based on an investigation coordinated by detectives from the St. George Police Department Crimes Against Persons Unit, eight men were arrested and charged with patronizing a prostitute after each individually responded to an ad. 

Jay L. Farnsworth, Franklin W. Field, Travis J. Coleman, Donald K. Railsback, Larin D. Shenah, Daniel Mahfood, Lance D. Mackelprang and Mark K. Rawle were all arrested and charged with a class-A misdemeanor patronizing a prostitute.

Officer Tiffany Atkin, St. George Police Department, said during the sting operation, detectives used the name of a real juvenile believed to have been human trafficked. Detectives posted several ads posing as this individual who was advertising sexual services around St. George. 

All the men responded to the ads and met at a hotel and agreed to pay for sexual services. 

Atkins said the men arrested are not affiliated with their capture and rescue of the juvenile, as they were patronizing a prostitute and did not have anything to do with the girl who had been trafficked. It is unclear how the girl was located. 

Atkins said what matters is the girl is now safe. No other details of the juvenile or how the this investigation lead to her rescue were released.  

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