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Grand Rapids doctor among those charged with child solicitation

Ogechukwu Victor Adekweh

A Grand Rapids doctor is on administrative leave after being arrested for alleged online solicitation of minors.

Ogechukwu Victor Adekweh, 33, of Grand Rapids, was charged Friday in State District Court with felony counts of engaging in or agreeing to hire a minor to engage in prostitution. Adekweh started as an emergency medicine doctor at Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital in September 2018, according to the hospital’s website.

“We are deeply troubled by the allegations regarding Dr. Adekweh. Although we understand that they involve conduct unrelated to Grand Itasca, he has been placed on administrative leave,” said marketing and communications manager Cassi Chrzanowski in a statement emailed to the News Tribune on Saturday.

According to his profile on the hospital’s website, Adekweh decided to practice medicine because “growing up with a mother who is a nurse, I picked up an interest in caring for the sick. Also my birth position as the first child in my family’s generation of grandchildren, I have a natural gift and obligation to care.”

Adekweh was one of eight people arrested in a two-day sting operation. The operation focused on identifying and arresting suspects seeking to have sexual encounters with minor females in exchange for money, according to court documents. Investigators placed advertisements on various sites “known for soliciting commercial sex” and ran the operation out of a Duluth hotel room Wednesday and Thursday.

According to criminal complaints, the suspects responded to the advertisements, which featured “several pictures of a female in suggestive poses.” The defendants allegedly communicated with undercover officers posing as a girl and claiming to be 15 years old.

The men agreed to meet and pay for sexual services and were arrested upon arrival at the hotel, according to the complaints.

Adelle Whitefoot

Adelle Whitefoot is a Michigan native who moved to Minnesota in Sept. 2014 when she started as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle. She graduated from Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich., in 2012 with a bachelor's in English writing and has been a professional photographer since 2011. Whitefoot is the night general assignments reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. 

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