WILLMAR — A pretrial hearing is scheduled in October for a Willmar woman accused of sex trafficking. A jury trial is set for early November.
Marissa Elvira Mares, 30, faces four felony charges of second-degree sex trafficking for allegedly inducing a woman to work as a prostitute and for profiting from it.
Mares first appeared in court in March. A settlement conference was conducted Thursday.
Mares has been in the Kandiyohi County Jail since mid-February on $40,000 bail.
According to the criminal complaint, the alleged victim told authorities that Mares had trafficked her twice. After she overdosed on drugs in November 2018, the woman said, Mares offered to help her.
Mares then allegedly told the woman that she had arranged for a man to have sex with her. The alleged meeting was in a camper in Montevideo. Afterward, the woman told police, Mares received $200 from the man and gave $60 to her.
Authorities were able to retrieve Facebook information that included a conversation between Mares and the man arranging his meeting with the woman.
In March 2019, the woman reported that Mares said a man had already paid to have sex with her.
According to the complaint, Mares told her she shouldn’t be ashamed, because “money is money.”
The woman was dropped off at a business, and the man took her to a motel room in Willmar. Mares later told the woman that Mares had received $200 from him, and she gave $50 to the woman.
The woman told authorities that Mares tried later to get her to provide sexual services on a regular basis, but she hadn’t done it, according to the complaint.