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Associated Press, Published June 06 2012

Minn. man gets 21 years for prostituting girl, 17

ST. PAUL — A Columbia Heights man has been sentenced to 21 years in prison after admitting he prostituted a 17-year-old girl out of a Roseville motel.

Thirty-nine-year-old Samuel Cozart pleaded guilty in April to promoting prostitution of a minor. Cozart said his decision stemmed in part from his concern for the victim, who he considered his girlfriend.

But prosecutor Jill Gerber scoffed at that notion Wednesday. Gerber cited the number of "dates" Cozart helped set up for the teen through a website.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports Gerber said the girl was in the courtroom for the sentencing, but did not want to make a statement.

In accordance with his pledge to treat teenage prostitutes not as delinquents but as victims, County Attorney John Choi is not prosecuting the girl.

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Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.