Investigators use social network sites to nab Kent man on alleged juvenile prostitution charges | Kent Police

The Kent Police Department released details on an investigation of a 22-year-old east Kent man who is alleged to have been involved in juvenile prostitution.

The man was arrested late last month for attempted promotion of commercial sex abuse of a minor and possession of marijuana, according to a Kent Police media release. He is currently being held at the Regional Justice Center on $500,000 bail.

Kent officers learned of the man's activities in early April. Using an undercover officer to pose as a 17-year-old girl, investigators started communicating with the man using social networking sites.

In the weeks that followed, communication between the man and the officer continued through texting and phone calls. The man groomed and recruited the undercover officer to work for him as a prostitute.

Believing he had ensnared a young teenage girl, he told her where to work, demanded $1,000 a day and made plans to take her to Las Vegas to work as his prostitute.

With evidence in hand, Kent police officers arranged to meet the man using the lure of retrieving money he thought the girl had made for him through prostitution. Police surrounded a local convenience store while the female officer met with the man on Pacific Highway South.

Cash was exchanged and the man agreed to rent the “girl” a motel room to continue her prostitution efforts. Officers moved in and arrested the man, recovering a large amount of cash, marijuana and a digital scale. Following his arrest the  man said, “You caught me red-handed.”

The Kent Police Department has partnered with the FBI’s Innocence Lost Task Force since 2009, recovering dozens of children victimized for profit.

Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas said, “I am extremely proud of our officers for working cooperatively with other police agencies and prosecutors to actively seek out those individuals that are exploiting juveniles in prostitution for their own greed. We will continue to aggressively investigate these cases in an effort to protect our youth."


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