FORT LEWIS SGT. CHARGED WITH
BEING A PIMP
June 02, 2009
(TACOMA, WA) -- The U.S. attorney's office has charged a 26-year old Fort Lewis sergeant of working as a pimp and forcing two juveniles to work as prostitutes.
Prosecutors charged Sterling Terrance Hospedales, who is with the 4th Stryker Brigade at Fort Lewis, with sexual trafficking of a child and attempted sexual trafficking of a child.
Hospedales was arrested April 14th leaving an apartment in Lakewood that had been identified as a place where juveniles were working as prostitutes by a federal task force.
The sergeant is accused of taking money that an underage Seattle runaway, working as a prostitute, had given him and paying to have a second juvenile fly in from Wyoming to work as a prostitute.
Hospedales has been held in the Pierce County Jail on state charges since his arrest on April 14, 2009.
The investigation began on April 13th when Lakewood Police were alerted to a juvenile runaway from the Seattle area who was posting ads on Craig’s List indicating she was engaged in prostitution.
Investigators from the Innocence Lost Task Force, a federal task force targeting sex trafficking of children, followed up on the information, locating and interviewing the juvenile and a second juvenile.
The first juvenile ultimately admitted that she worked as a prostitute out of an apartment Hospedales had obtained for her, that Hospedales had helped her post advertisements for prostitution with pictures of herself on Craig’s List, and that she provided the money she earned from prostituting to Hospedales.
The second juvenile had flown to the area from Wyoming with her plane ticket paid for by Hospedales. The second girl stated that she had only been in town a week, and had taken pictures to post on Craig’s List for prostitution purposes, but had not started earning money for Hospedales.
Hospedales was involved in recruiting the Wyoming girl and posting the advertisements on Craig’s List. According to the second juvenile, Hospedales threatened to kick her out of the apartment and have other girls beat her up if she didn’t pay him back for the plane ticket by prostituting. Hospedales was arrested as he left the Lakewood apartment he had rented for the juveniles.
Sex Trafficking of a Juvenile is punishable by a mandatory minimum ten years in prison up to life in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release.