Business owner arrested pending charges of false imprisonment, assault and inducing a woman into prostitution – West Central Tribune


— A 55-year-old female business owner was arrested over the weekend on allegations of false imprisonment, assault, running a disorderly business and inducing a woman into practicing prostitution.

According to a news release Monday from Willmar Police Chief Jim Felt, Police were called to a business on the 2400 block of First Street South on Saturday, March 9, around 1:35 p.m. on a report of a woman screaming.

Upon arrival, officers located an adult female employee who said she had been punched by the business owner. The woman was transported to the hospital by ambulance with minor injuries.

During the investigation, police received information that the victim had recently moved to Minnesota from out of the state and was living inside the business with the business owner.

According to Felt, the victim stated she had come to Willmar on the prospect of a new job and that the owner had “secluded her inside the business.” The woman alleged the owner was not allowing her to leave and was controlling basic care items, such as allowing her to eat and bathe.

The woman also alleged the owner instructed her to perform sex acts on customers when requested. She said that when she refused to do so, the owner assaulted her.

A search warrant for the business was obtained. Upon searching, officers found what appeared to be living quarters inside the business that were not designated for housing. Various items, including video systems, cellphones, ledgers, and suspected DNA evidence, were also confiscated as evidence.

The business owner, identified as a 55-year-old woman from Willmar, is currently in custody at the Kandiyohi County Jail pending potential charges including domestic assault, false imprisonment, inducing an individual to practice prostitution and owning/operating a disorderly house.

The West Central Tribune does not typically name suspects until they have been formally charged after a court appearance.

Felt said the investigation remains ongoing.

Dale Morin is a reporter with the West Central Tribune. He covers public safety and breaking news beats.

Dale can be reached at or by phone 320-214-4368.

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