Charges: Man Texted Girl, 15, To Hire Her For Sex

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Police arrested a 58-year-old West St. Paul man after he allegedly sent a 15-year-old girl a text message asking her for sex in exchange for $500, authorities said.

The Dakota County Attorney’s Office has charged John Tatum with one count of asking a teenager for sex in exchange for money and one count of possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree. When arrested, Tatum had three small rocks of crack cocaine in his pocket, authorities said.

Court documents say that Tatum initially texted the victim at 11 p.m. on Jan. 6. The following day, the victim awoke to a message reading: “Would u ever consider getting intimate with me if u were 2 be paid $500 4 one nt?”

The message also attempted to confirm that the victim was not a minor, saying: “I had 2 b sure that u aren’t a minor or this would never b happening…but that doesn’t mean that to ask u this is alright either.” It also begged the victim not to tell her mother or anyone else.

But the victim said something, and police arrived at her residence at 10:35 a.m. There they learned the victim and her mother knew Tatum, because he did maintenance work at their previous residence.

At the police station, the victim allowed police to use her cell phone. An officer then sent Tatum a series of texts to which he responded, clarifying he was asking for sex. Police photographed the texts, according to court documents.

Police then went to Tatum’s apartment complex, found him in the hallway and arrested him. During the arrest, they searched Tatum and found a glass pipe and crack cocaine, court documents say.

Tatum agreed to give a statement in which he told police that no one else had used his cell phone and that he had written all the messages to the victim. Tatum told police he thought the victim was 18 and that when he wrote sex, he did not mean intercourse, court documents say.

If convicted of both felony charges, Tatum faces at total of up to 15 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $30,000.

  • Richard Head

    58 and smoking crack? Probably does horse sh_t maintenance work too. Rosey palms.

  • What a pig

    Sickos!! I bet he knew how old she was. Worked at previous residence, asked other people ‘how old is that little gurl.’ What a lying sack of…

  • Bruce Wayne

    what the story doesn’t say is how he got her number, hmmm???

  • Murph

    There seems to be a lot of city folk obsessed with crack and sex! I thought it was just a few sometimes recreational users and the hard drugs were going to the terrible,devious and disloyal senior citizens who are preventing ,you and your children from having a retirement in your future! Did Faux news lead me wrong?.The GOP debates,the lies,the B.S. and the twisting of facts? Hmmm ,I guess for many it will still be a mystery when the election is held! Tell the GOP to shove it! Criminals are criminals,but only the GOP expects to go scott free!

    • just sayin

      You are pathetic and stupid. God forgive your children.

  • Daniel

    RIP big bro u will always be siemsd and the thought of u will never fade along with the pain of u no longer here with us, and i hope that justice will be served to who ever did, but on the up side we all kno u up there layin easy ,,, love always ya lil sis

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