MANKATO — An incident initially reported as a robbery Sunday morning resulted in a brother and sister from Milwaukee being arrested and accused of forcing a woman to work as a prostitute in Mankato.
A man called police just after 7 a.m. Sunday to report he had been robbed in the parking lot of the Days Inn hotel off Highway 169. It was reported the suspects were two women who had left the scene in a gold Chevy van.
One of the officers investigating, Sgt. Adam Gray, recognized the van as being associated with two women he had dealt with the previous Thursday. He had been called to the AmericInn hotel near campus for a prostitution report involving two women.
The same two women, 22-year-old Lakisha Denise Hinton and a woman only identified by her initials in criminal complaints filed Tuesday, also had been involved in a prostitution report at the Super 8 motel off Highway 169 on March 20, Gray reported. The second woman is not being identified because she told investigators she had been forced into prostitution.
When Gray responded to the AmericInn incident, he suspected Hinton was acting as a pimp and promoting the other woman as a prostitute.
One of the officers responding to the Days Inn Sunday, Justin Lindmeyer, became suspicious when the man who reported the robbery, identified as Mitch Gondreau, explained what had happened. After talking to Lakisha Hinton, her brother, 24-year-old Lemark Lamont Hinton, and the other woman, the officer went back to Gondreau and asked him to tell the truth, the complaint said.
At that point Gondreau told police he had responded to an advertisement on a website called Mankato.backpage.com. He said he found a phone number in a section advertising escort services. When Gondreau called the number, he made arrangements to trade $60 in marijuana and $30 in cash for what he assumed would be sexual favors, according to the complaints.