A Brooklyn Park man has been charged with one count of prostitution in an undercover sting operation conducted by the Maple Grove Police Department.

Bruce Pinney, 70, was charged with one count of prostitution-hiring/agreeing to hire an individual believing to be between the ages of 13 or 16 to engage in sexual contact.

According to the criminal complaint, the Maple Grove Police Department was conducting an investigation of possible electronic solicitation of minors. “Officers placed numerous advertisements in online publications known to be used by individuals engaging in prostitution,” the complaint said.

One of those individuals responding to the ads was allegedly Pinney, who engaged in a text conversation with an undercover officer posing as a 15-year-old girl.

The complaint states, Pinney and the undercover officer exchanged information relating to their future encounter. “The officer later told [Pinney] she was under 20 and asked if 15 was okay,” the complaint said. Pinney stated it was fine.

According to the complaint, Pinney and the undercover officer agreed on money and a time and place to meet. “[Pinney] went to a park in Maple Grove as instructed by the officer, was arrested, and was positively identified,” the complaint said. “Officer also called the phone the text messages originated from and determined it was the phone found on [Pinney.]”

In a post-Miranda statement, Pinney admitted to texting with a person who said she was 15 and he agreed to pay for sex.

His next court appearance was March 3, after press deadline.

If convicted, Pinney could face 10 years in prison for this felony charge and/or a $6,000 to $20,000 fine.

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