News and Press Releases

Recruited Women and Advertised Commercial Sex Acts on Internet

May 21, 2008

JEROME EUGENE TODD, 28, of Everett, Washington was convicted this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Seattle of Conspiracy to Engage in Sex Trafficking, three counts of Sex Trafficking, Interstate Transportation in Furtherance of Prostitution, and Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering. TODD was convicted following a seven-day jury trial. The jury deliberated for one day before finding him guilty on all counts in the indictment. TODD faces at least a mandatory minimum 15 years in prison on each of the Sex Trafficking counts when sentenced by U.S. District Judge James L. Robart on August 25, 2008.

According to testimony at trial and court documents, in early 2007, TODD recruited a female victim to work as a prostitute in Lynnwood, Washington. TODD and an indicted co-defendant photographed the woman and posted her pictures on the internet through Craigslist offering commercial sex acts. TODD set the prices for the sex acts, and provided the female victim with cell phones so he could manage her activities. TODD told the victim that she needed to follow his rules, and threatened to beat her. On three occasions TODD beat the woman and grabbed her by the throat. Also in 2007, TODD took the woman to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he had her work as a prostitute. The co-defendant has since pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering.

In July 2007, TODD recruited a second victim to work as a prostitute, also in Lynnwood, Washington. He controlled all of her activities, set strict rules, and threatened her repeatedly. TODD directed her to respond to prostitution calls, and to hand over all of the money to him. He did not allow the second woman to contact family or friends. On two occasions, he assaulted her when she attempted to disobey his rules and to escape.

In September 2007, TODD enticed a third victim to work as a prostitute. Similar to the first and second victims, TODD had this woman’s photograph posted on Craigslist, advertising services for sex. TODD again imposed harsh rules that the woman had to abide by, and would assault her when he believed that she was intending, or did, violate his rules. TODD also physically blocked her from leaving him. TODD required this woman to place all of their assets and financial debts in her name to compel her to work for him.

Count 6, charging conspiracy to engage in money laundering, involved the use of proceeds from the conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking to promote those activities. The use of the proceeds included renting rooms at motels, apartments, and purchasing condoms, lubricants, cell phones, airplane tickets, and lingerie, and placing of ads in Seattle Weekly. TODD also used the criminal proceeds to support a lavish lifestyle, and purchased high-end jewelry and clothing. TODD was arrested on October 17, 2007, and subsequently indicted for the crimes in which the jury has returned guilty verdicts.

Conspiracy to Engage in Sex Trafficking is punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of five years; Sex Trafficking is punishable by a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of fifteen years and a maximum of life; and Interstate Transportation in Furtherance of Prostitution is punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years. And Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering is punishable by up to twenty years in prison.

The case was investigated by the Everett Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Seattle Police Department, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), and the United States Probation Office.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Karyn Johnson and
Ye-Ting Woo.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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