May 17, 2012

'Nice Guys' ringleader accused of hiring prostitute.

John St. Marie, who was spared prison time in the prior case for health reasons, was charged after allegedly arranging to see a prostitute.
John St. Marie, who was convicted in 2010 of running a prostitution ring for well-to-do men who dubbed themselves the "Minnesota Nice Guys," was caught last month by police allegedly ordering a prostitute for himself at a cost of $600.

Because St. Marie is in a wheelchair and needs extensive health care, the judge who sentenced him in the earlier case decided not to send him to prison, noting in part the huge medical costs his incarceration would entail. St. Marie, 68, had made a plea agreement with the Ramsey County attorney's office.

But the prostitution charge filed Friday is a violation of his probation. And again, a judge will have to consider St. Marie's health when deciding how to handle the violation.

"The new charge wasn't something that was anticipated," said Dennis Gerhardstein, spokesman for the Ramsey County attorney's office. "We have to wait until we have the facts in front of us, but a judge will have to review St. Marie's status and make a determination. We don't know what will come of this."

St. Marie, a former assistant Hennepin County attorney, couldn't be reached for comment. His attorney, Dave Roston, said it was too early to comment on the case.

St. Marie needs round-the-clock health care, which he receives at his home in Minneapolis. He uses a wheelchair because of childhood polio, and can move only his neck and a finger on his left hand. Post-polio syndrome forced him to retire in 2003.

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