MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Bloomington Police arrested 16 people in a recent prostitution sting, including the former CEO of a Twin Cities hospital.
David Cress, 64, was among the 15 men and one woman arrested on Tuesday. North Memorial Medical Center cut ties with Cress after police arrested him in a prostitution sting in Richfield four years ago.
Using online sites like Backpage.com, Bloomington Police addressed a discreet but ongoing problem earlier this week.
“It becomes a quality-of-life issue,” said Deputy Chief Rick Hart. “There are people that come and stay in Bloomington hotels or citizens that work in these areas and in the neighborhood. A lot of times, with these individuals, they bring criminal activity.”
Undercover officers worked with the St. Paul Police Department and the Gerald Vick Human Trafficking Task Force to root out prostitution in the city.
“If we see some trends we’ll do a proactive detail,” Hart said.
The recent sting brought 16 people to an unknown hotel. There, they found the law waiting.
“We don’t tolerate it in the City of Bloomington, and if you come in to our city and you’re going to attempt criminal activity – whether it be prostitution, drugs, any sort of crime – we’re going to be very swift and thorough,” Hart said.
But there’s more than the criminal charge. At times, this arrest can cost someone their career.
Four years ago, David Cress lost his job as CEO of North Memorial Medical Center. On Tuesday, he was once again in custody, accused of soliciting prostitution.
“Who knows what drives people’s addiction,” Hart said. “They think they can get away with it, the thrill. It’s hard to say.”
Renee Segal of Segal Psychotherapy specializes in sex therapy. She has not treated Cress.
“I see this all the time,” Segal said.
She says for some patients it’s an impulse that can’t be controlled, despite the risk of consequences.
“This definitely is a bigger problem, especially when they have consequences in their work or their family life,” she said.
Segal says at that point, compulsive behavior is a strong indicator of addiction.
“Just like an alcoholic, sometimes people can drink and sometimes people can’t,” Segal said. “Sometimes people get addicted, sometimes they don’t.”
While the Internet makes it easier than ever to follow impulse, it also increases the risk of arrest.
“We try to be proactive,” Hart said.
Cress could face up to a year in jail and a fine for his second arrest if convicted. He was booked and released along with the 15 other people arrested.
Segal offers advice for spotting addiction. Click here for more information.