Human Traffic Watch

Posts Tagged ‘washington’

Tacoma Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on May 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Irvin controlled the women with a harsh list of rules including requiring the women to give him all money made from prostitution activities and not being allowed to leave the house on their own. When victims broke Irvin’s rules, the punishment included beatings, anal rape, being forced to strip naked and stand in the corner, being tied to the bed, and psychological and emotional abuse. Women working for Irvin witnessed him beating other women and became fearful of leaving him or disobeying his orders. In asking for a 15-year sentence, prosecutors wrote to the court, “Unquestionably, Irvin is a predator who has a long history of assaulting and exploiting young women….[H]e treated the victims herein like chattel, beating and belittling them into servitude.

Source: 7th Space / FBI

Wash. Senate passes child sex trafficking bills

In Child Sex Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on March 12, 2013 at 12:21 pm

The Washington state Senate has unanimously passed a pair of bills meant to crack down on child sex trafficking.

The first measure passed Monday would impose a $5,000 fine on top of existing penalties for those using online ads to facilitate the commercial sexual abuse of a child. That money would go toward state efforts to prevent and stop prostitution.

The second bill would expand the definition of “communication with a minor for immoral purposes” to include buying and selling sex acts and engaging in sex trafficking. It would also increase penalties for clients of child prostitutes and add trafficking and commercial sexual abuse of a child to the list of sex offenses requiring sex-offender registration.

Both measures will go next to the House.

Source: Seattle Times

Korean nightclub madam sentenced in immigration case

In Forced marriage, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on February 26, 2013 at 12:16 pm
MIRROR FILE PHOTOThe Blue Moon, located at 31140 Pacific Highway S., just north of South 312th Street in Federal Way. The nightclub's entrance is an unmarked door at the back of the building.

MIRROR FILE PHOTO
The Blue Moon, located at 31140 Pacific Highway S., just north of South 312th Street in Federal Way. The nightclub’s entrance is an unmarked door at the back of the building.

The madam of a nationwide Korean prostitution ring headquartered in Federal Way was sentenced to prison on charges of immigration fraud.

Auburn resident Miyoung Roberts, 42, operated the Blue Moon nightclub on Pacific Highway South. On Friday, she was sentenced to two years in prison and three years of supervised release, according to U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan’s office.

Between 2009 and 2012, Roberts arranged illegal immigration for more than 24 Korean women who traveled around the United States to work at similar nightclubs. According to the attorney’s office, Roberts had “earned a reputation for being a successful room salon madam.”

Roberts also counseled the women, who served as “bar girls,” on how to avoid detection by immigration authorities. She set up apartments for the women and supervised some of the women’s prostitution activities, according to the attorney’s office.

Roberts had gained U.S. citizenship through a fake marriage, and in an attempt to arrange a fake marriage for someone else, she recruited an undercover agent who was working on the case.

Source: Federal Way Mirror

Washington’s online sex-trafficking law struck down in federal court

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on December 11, 2012 at 8:56 pm

A federal judge on Thursday struck down a Washington state law aimed at battling online sex trafficking after an Internet advocacy group filed a lawsuit challenging the measure’s constitutionality.

Judge Ricardo Martinez’s order was filed Thursday in Seattle after the state declined to continue arguing in U.S. District Court over Engrossed Senate Bill 6252, one of several measures written by lawmakers earlier this year to combat online sex trafficking. Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the bill, aimed at online classified site Backpage.com, into law in March.

Source: Seattle Times

Will ID checks stop Backpage and child sex trafficking?

In Awareness, Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on April 11, 2012 at 9:19 am

(Credit: iStockphoto/sjlocke)

A new law in Washington state is being heralded this week as the latest successful strike in the war against child sex traffickers. What isn’t getting any coverage is what the law actually does and what it will mean in practice — as well as the question of how effective it will be in screening out child traffickers.

The New York Times described it as “a bill that would require sites within the state to obtain documentation that escorts advertised there are at least 18″ — but it’s a bit more complicated than that. (It’s almost always more complicated than stated when it comes to sex trafficking.) The law makes it a Class C felony for anyone to advertise “commercial sexual abuse of a minor if he or she knowingly publishes, disseminates, or displays, or causes directly or indirectly, to be published, disseminated, or displayed, any advertisement for a commercial sex act, which is to take place in the state of Washington and that includes the depiction of a minor.” That applies equally to pimps as it does to an online classified site like the controversial Backpage.com.

 Source: Salon

Washington Is First State to Take On Escort Sites

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on April 3, 2012 at 10:36 am

For more than three months, she was sold online for sex. She had run away at 15, gone back home, then run away again. Finally, an undercover police officer caught her, and her pimp. This time she went home and stayed, but she was not the same.

She is also evidence. When one of the men who raped her was sentenced in February, one of the exhibits that prosecutors used was an advertisement selling her services as an escort on backpage.com. The ad said she was 18.

That same month, the Washington Legislature was debating a bill that would require sites within the state to obtain documentation that escorts advertised there are at least 18. On Thursday, Gov. Christine Gregoire signed that bill into law, the first of its kind in the country.

“It’s a start, and it’s a precedent,” the girl’s father said, “and it will make a difference.”

Source: New York Times

Wash. Senate passes bill pressuring sex ad sellers

In Awareness, Human Trafficking on February 10, 2012 at 11:37 am

The Washington state Senate unanimously passed a bill Wednesday going after classified advertising companies that don’t demand ID before allowing sex-related ads to be posted online.

Speaking on the Senate floor, proponents said the bill would pressure companies selling sex ads online to attempt to verify the ages of those depicted.

“This is for our kids,” said Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, who added she hopes other states follow Washington’s lead.

The bill, SB 6251, now goes to the House.

The bill’s primary target is Backpage.com, which operates a robust online clearinghouse for sex escorts.

(JONATHAN KAMINSKY, Associated Press)

WA lawmakers seek to ban sale of underage sex ads

In Human Trafficking on February 2, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Washington state lawmakers introduced legislation Monday that would require classified-advertising companies to attempt to verify the age of escorts listed in sex-related postings.The bill was one of a dozen introduced by a bipartisan group of senators seeking to curb sex trafficking.Sen., D-Seattle, said she hoped the measure would compel online clearinghouse Backpage.com to demand proof of age for those depicted in escort advertisements on its site.

(JONATHAN KAMINSKY for Associated Press via Seattle PI)

WA lawmakers seek to ban sale of underage sex ads

Critics slam Backpage.com at legislative hearing

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on January 29, 2012 at 11:27 am

Washington state lawmakers on Friday heard impassioned pleas to pass a bill clamping down on classified-advertising companies that don’t demand ID before allowing sex-related ads to be posted online.

Speaking at a Senate hearing, clergy members, law enforcement, and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn condemned Backpage.com, an online clearinghouse with a robust adult escort section, for not adequately attempting to verify the age of those listed in the ads on its site.

Critics estimate parent company Village Voice Media makes more than $22 million per year from sex ads, a figure the company has not disputed. It owns 13 weekly newspapers, including Seattle Weekly.

(JONATHAN KAMINSKY for Associated Press via The Seattle Times)

WA lawmakers seek to ban sale of underage sex ads

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on January 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Washington state lawmakers introduced legislation Monday that would require classified-advertising companies to attempt to verify the age of escorts listed in sex-related postings.

The bill was one of a dozen introduced by a bipartisan group of senators seeking to curb sex trafficking.

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, said she hoped the measure would compel online clearinghouse Backpage.com to demand proof of age for those depicted in escort advertisements on its site.

(JONATHAN KAMINSKY for Associated Press via Seattle PI)

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