WASHINGTON – An Anchorage, Alaska, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of allegedly forcing underage and adult women to have sex with men in exchange for money, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Nelson P. Cohen for the District of Alaska announced today.
The 28-count superseding indicted returned by a federal grand jury in Alaska on Dec. 15, 2006, charges Don Arthur Webster Jr., aka “Jerry Starr,” 49, with four counts of sex trafficking of a child using force, fraud or coercion, two counts of attempted sex trafficking of a minor using force, fraud or coercion, and five counts of sex trafficking of an adult using force, fraud or coercion. The superseding indictment was unsealed following a hearing in Anchorage today.
In addition, Webster was charged with various drug-related offenses, including three counts of distribution of cocaine base – commonly known as “crack” cocaine – to a pregnant woman, four counts of distribution of cocaine base to a child, and five counts of distribution of cocaine base. The charges are in addition to charges in the original indictment returned Nov. 14, 2006 – one count each of manufacturing, possessing with intent to distribute and maintaining a place to manufacture, distribute and use cocaine. The indictment includes two forfeiture counts, involving property located at 3411 Oregon Drive in Anchorage – one count based on property derived from proceeds of the crimes charged in the sex trafficking counts of the indictment and one count based on the drug trafficking charges.
“This indictment alleges a shocking pattern of sexual exploitation, threats of violence and drug trafficking by the defendant, all for his own financial gain,” said Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division. “The Department of Justice is deeply committed to the vigorous prosecution of predators who force young women into lives of prostitution and despair.”
According to the indictment, Webster operated a number of businesses named Foxy Roxies, Sunshine Girls, American Beauties, Kotton Kandy, Tiffani’s, Tickle Your Fancy, and Lickety Split in Anchorage. While these businesses purport to be “escort services” in which an individual would pay for another person’s “time and company,” the indictment charges that they were in fact fronts for Webster’s illegal prostitution business.
Webster allegedly provided adult women and underage girls to engage in sex acts in exchange for money with men who called the escort service phone lines. The indictment describes Webster’s prostitution business as operating on an “out call” basis, meaning that the females would meet the caller at his residence or at a hotel paid for by the caller. According to the indictment, the caller would pay a fixed hourly rate plus a transportation fee to have sex with the female who would meet him. Certain regular callers could request that the female meeting him provide him with illegal drugs, known as an “issue,” for an additional fee. The female allegedly obtained the illegal drugs to give to the caller from Webster or someone acting at his direction.
As described in the indictment, when a female met a caller for sex, it was called “going on a date.” The females allegedly were not allowed to keep any part of the money they collected in payment for the sex acts. Webster required them to turn over all of the money to him or to a designated representative, who would give him the money. After a female turned over her money, he or a designated representative allegedly would distribute an “issue” to the female, typically a gram of “crack” cocaine.
Webster is also accused of being physically violent with the females working for him, and allegedly would threaten them with harm if they disobeyed him or attempted to leave. The indictment further alleges that he would take possession of a female’s personal property and identification when she moved into one of his residences.
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of up to life in prison.
This case is being investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Anchorage Police Department. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Audrey J. Renschen of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska and Trial Attorney Alexandra Gelber of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal laws. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.