Prosecutors charge ex-University of Washington basketball player Venoy Overton with promoting prostitution in Kent

Venoy Overton told Kent Police, according to court documents, that he drove an 18-year-old woman to Pacific Highway South in Kent and told her to "just walk," "hit me up when you're done," and that she ended up "turning a trick."

Venoy Overton told Kent Police, according to court documents, that he drove an 18-year-old woman to Pacific Highway South in Kent and told her to “just walk,” “hit me up when you’re done,” and that she ended up “turning a trick.”

Overton told police he received $60 of the $200 a man paid the woman for sex.

King County prosecutors Friday charged Overton, 22, of Seattle, a former University of Washington basketball player, with second-degree promoting prostitution, according to charging papers.

Overton remained in custody Friday in the Kent city jail with bail set at $150,000. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charge at 9 a.m. June 30 in Courtroom GA at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

If convicted as charged, Overton faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The woman told detectives that Overton told her that if she took care of him financially now he would take care of her once he made it to the NBA or an overseas basketball league.

“The defendant has admitted to both advancing and profiting from an 18-year-old woman’s prostitution activities,” prosecutor Sean O’Donnell wrote in the charging papers. “The danger to the victim when walking ‘the track’ (a term used to refer to areas of high prostitution) cannot be sanitized.

“The defendant exploited his relationship with this young woman for a simple reason: money. It is clear from his interview with detectives that money was a primary motivator to the defendant and that he took minimal account of the risks the victim faced.”

Kent Police arrested Overton Thursday in a South Seattle neighborhood for investigation of second-degree promoting prostitution, a class C felony. The arrest was part of a three-week investigation.

Kent Police detectives began their investigation of Overton May 20 when undercover officers contacted an 18-year-old woman for prostitution activity on Pacific Highway South, a well-known area for prostitution in Kent.

While speaking with the woman, officers learned that she had been brought to the area by her boyfriend who directed her to perform acts of prostitution. She identified her boyfriend as Overton.

The young woman also told officers that she had been given specific instructions of what sex acts to perform and what to charge, and had returned a portion of the money gained back to Overton. The woman further disclosed that she had been brought to the area to prostitute on two prior occasions.

The woman told police she met Overton in September and they started to date around Thanksgiving. Cellphone records obtained through search warrants by detectives show Overton called the woman frequently between November and early June.

According to charging papers, the woman met up with Overton on May 19 at Franklin High School in Seattle to shoot baskets before they headed to the Burger King on Pacific Highway in Kent. She said Overton told her he dropped her off there to get money for having sex.

Police obtained video surveillance from the restaurant that shows Overton and the woman meeting at the restaurant on May 20. That is the same date that Overton reportedly sent a text message to the woman that read “OK we gonna go by the track.”

Detectives also obtained from the woman’s phone a photo Overton had sent that showed him shirtless and wearing purple basketball shorts.

The woman also said that Overton drove her to Kent in a “UW purple” colored Chevy Caprice. Police confirmed through Department of Licensing records that Overton owns a 1995 Chevrolet Caprice.

After one of the prostitution incidents, the woman told detectives that Overton used his share of the money she received from prostitution to buy gas and a cigar. Police obtained video surveillance from a Chevron station on Pacific Highway that showed Overton and the woman at the service counter and Overton buying a cigar with cash.

Overton told detectives he took the woman to the “track” because he knew he was going to get some money. He also told them he knew what he did was wrong and stated he screwed up. When asked why he still did it if he knew it was wrong, Overton replied, “I’m not gonna turn down money from a girl.”

Seattle Police arrested Overton earlier this year and he was charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor. That incident involved two 16-year-old girls he met online. Overton was not convicted of the charge but in March received a dispositional continuance, which meant the charge would be dismissed after a year if he had no further law violations.

The UW suspended Overton from the Pacific-10 Conference tournament because of the incident with the two girls, but he was later allowed to play in the NCAA tournament. Overton led Franklin High School of Seattle to a state basketball title in 2006.

Overton ranks third all-time in UW history with 177 steals and fifth all-time with 390 assists.


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