Forest Lake police were involved in an investigation that led to the arrest, charges and sentencing of a St. Paul man for sex trafficking, according to information released by the Washington County Attorney’s Office on July 6.
The investigation, which began in late 2016, led to the recovery of a runaway girl from a relative’s house in Forest Lake, according to court records.
Joshua Carlisle, 25, who was convicted of sex trafficking and promotion of prostitution, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in the case.
According to court records, two juvenile teenage sisters were reported missing in Washington County in November (records did not state their hometown). During the investigation into their whereabouts, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Washington County Human Trafficking Unit found a video of one of the girls online. The video appeared to be advertising the girl for prostitution.
A subpoena of the website where the video was posted revealed that the person who posted the video was Carlisle, who previously lived in Georgia before recently moving north. Cooperating with the Minneapolis Police Department, investigators used an emergency locate on Carlisle’s phone and found that it was in Stillwater. Carlisle was arrested and admitted to knowing both teens. While a sheriff’s detective was on scene at Stillwater, one of the teens was recovered, intoxicated and unable to speak coherently, in a park in St. Paul. While at the residence where Carlisle was found, officers also spoke to an adult woman who said that Carlisle had advertised her for prostitution as well and offered to split $500 with her if she had sex with a man he would find online.
The second runaway teen was not found with Carlisle and remained missing for two months, before she was found at a relative’s house in Forest Lake. Between accessing Carlisle’s phone and speaking to the girl, investigators learned that Carlisle had been trying (sometimes successfully) to advertise multiple people for prostitution, including sending pictures of one of the girls to prospective johns.