Editor's note: Bradehoft entered a no contest plea May 23, 2017, to one count of misdemeanor prostitution. The court dismissed two felony and two misdemeanor counts as part of the plea.
A Star Prairie woman is accused of neglecting her children, who authorities say were left behind while she slipped outside to prostitute herself inside a modified chicken coop.
Sarah M. Bradehoft, 27, was charged June 23 in Polk County Circuit Court with two felonies - child neglect causing bodily harm and second-degree recklessly endangering safety - and three misdemeanor counts of prostitution.
Her six children were removed from the home after Polk County sheriff’s investigators executed a search warrant there. According to sheriff’s office reports, lab test results indicated one child was exposed to amphetamines, cocaine and methamphetamine.
None of the six children was older than 10, according to reports.
According to sheriff’s office reports:
Polk County investigators were tipped off by a St. Croix County detective, who passed along information from a Stillwater police investigation into a Backpage.com prostitution sting.
One person identified in that investigation posing as “Sabrina Clark” told an undercover officer to meet her at 134 Highway 65 in Star Prairie. Polk County investigators stated in the report they were familiar with the address, which turned out to be Bradehoft’s.
While authorities confirmed Bradehoft’s Facebook photo matched a Sabrina Clark photo on Backpage.com, they were simultaneously alerted by an anonymous complainant that she was neglecting her children and involved in prostitution.
That led to the search warrant, which was executed May 12.
Investigators interviewed a relative of Bradehoft’s who was asked if she was prostituting herself. The relative said she was aware of Bradehoft’s activities.
That person recalled one instance when a man on a motorcycle arrived at the door.
“It’s for me,” the relative said Bradehoft told her.
The complaint states Bradehoft went “outside with the male subject to an outbuilding where they were alone.”
The relative said Bradehoft traded sex acts for money “when everyone was sleeping and that the next day she would sleep during the day and would all of a sudden have money which came from her activities through the website,” according to the report.
The relative described a lack of supervision by Bradehoft, adding that other adults in the house were left to bathe the children. Bradehoft was heard striking two of the children with a belt, the relative told investigators.
Bradehoft agreed to be interviewed by investigators in the chicken coop, which had been modified into a rec room.
She told officers she needed to make money to get back to Florida and admitted to performing sex acts for cash via the Backpage site. All the acts occurred in the chicken coop, she told investigators.
The activity represented her first exposure to prostitution, she told the officers.
“She simply needed money and therefore she decided to prostitute herself here,” the report states.