Two Minneapolis policemen will search the streets of midtown Manhattan next week for hundreds of Middle Western teenagers who have been lured into lives as prostitutes in New York.
Besides trying to get the youngsters to return to their homes, the Minneapolis officers will be looking for more evidence of a recruiting pipeline.
“We have a tremendous amount of young women entrapped into prostitution and in a short time they are taken to New York,” said one of the officers.
The pimps are targeting Minneapolis because the city has become a magnet for thousands of teenage runaways in the upper midwest.
Last year 400 teenagers from the Minn. area were picked up by pimps and sent to New York. The overall number in the last couple of years “must be a least a thousand and the problem is getting bigger and bigger.”
The first indication of a prostitution connection between New York and Minn. came in the early 1970s when vice squad detectives began arresting young blond women from the midwest for streetwalking in the Times Square area. A section of Eighth Avenue was named the Minnesota strip.
New York pimps have stepped up recruiting efforts because blond Scandinavian types are much in demand in the city. About 200 New York pimps have been identified as looking for prostitutes in Minneapolis. The women are induced to prostitute themselves in Minn. first as a training session and to earn the plane fare to New York.
“The pimps tell the girls – and this is partially true – that if they are arrested in New York, identification checks are not as thorough as in Minneapolis and their ages won’t be known.” A 16-year-old said she was arrested 40 times without her true age and identity being ascertained. There were 6,000 prostitution arrests last year in New York City.
One girl had her nose broken and her face gouged by her pimp. Another had her jaw broken. A 16-year-old who was recruited when she was 14 told Minn. police she turned over more than $100,000 to her pimp in an 18-month period.
NYT Raab 10/30/77