Sex Trafficking Charges Dropped Against Sanford Surgeon

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.– Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Aaron McGowan says all charges against Dr. Jonathan Cohen have been dropped.

Cohen, 36, was facing 21 charges including sex trafficking and child pornography. Police say the doctor met the teen on an online dating site, where the 16-year-old was posing as a 20-year-old. They say Cohen paid for the teen’s plane tickets to travel from Georgia to stay with him in his downtown apartment in September and October 2016. According to court documents, they had sex several times and he gave her money. They also say Cohen caused or permitted the creation of child pornography and knowingly possessed or distributed child pornography between August and October 2016.

The full statement from the Minnehaha County State’s Attorneys office reads:

“The charges against Dr. Jonathan Cohen, stemming from encounters with a 16 year old runaway from Atlanta, Georgia in August and October of 2016, have been dismissed without prejudice.  Due to the State’s inability to establish any direct contact with a necessary out-of-state witness, the State was unable to proceed to trial at this time.  This continues to be an ongoing investigation and because the charges were dismissed without prejudice, there is a potential for charges to be brought forth again in the future.”

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