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The St. Paul police sergeant who was placed on leave last week after being accused of lying in a major federal sex-trafficking case returned to work Wednesday.

Sgt. Heather Weyker is working in a noninvestigative capacity in the department's research and development office, said St. Paul police spokesman Steve Linders.

Weyker, who joined the department in 1997, was assigned to the juvenile unit before she was placed on leave March 3, the day after the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote that she "likely" exaggerated or fabricated aspects of a sex-trafficking case charged in Tennessee.

The decision resulted in the dismissal Tuesday of all charges against 16 remaining defendants in a case that once saw as many as 30 people charged.

Last week's Appeals Court decision upheld a lower court's acquittal of three men who were convicted in the case in 2012; the court said the whole case "may be fictitious."

The court's decision said that Weyker had been caught lying to a grand jury and that she lied on an application to get a key witness' family $3,000 in victim compensation by claiming that the witness, Jane Doe No. 2, had been abducted. The witness denied that she had been abducted.

Linders said an internal-affairs investigation prompted by the court's decision has been "placed on hold" pending further information from federal authorities. He did not specify what that information entailed.

Minneapolis attorney Gary Wolf, who represents one of the men whose cases were dismissed Tuesday, said he plans to meet with 13 of the men to discuss possible civil action.

"All the young men will be contacting lawyers concerning their rights to file a lawsuit concerning the deprivation of their freedom for several years," he said.

Wolf said that he wasn't sure whether he'd represent the men in civil action but that he would help them find appropriate representation.

Weyker's other cases are also under review by St. Paul police and the Ramsey County attorney's office.

Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708

Twitter: @ChaoStrib