Human Trafficker Sentenced to Two Decades in Federal Custody
Spokane – Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Seth Randles, age 38, of Spokane, Washington, was sentenced after having pleaded guilty to two federal sex trafficking charges. Chief United States District Judge Stanley A. Bastian sentenced Randles to 20 years in federal custody, the maximum sentence available, to be followed by a 15-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.
According to information disclosed during court proceedings, Randles used violence, threats, and manipulation to force women to engage in commercial sex acts with strangers of his choosing. He took the money his victims earned and used gruesome physical violence and the threat of force to ensure their compliance. He caused at least one victim to get a tattoo of his street name, “Silky,” on her body, to indicate that she was his property.
In 2017, after years of Randles forcing her to engage in oral sex and intercourse with customers, one victim and her family were brave enough to go to the police. Law enforcement officers learned that Randles forced his victims to perform sex acts on the main floor of his house in Spokane, while he hid on the second floor. Randles also used that residence to stage photos of women that he could post online to advertise for additional sex trafficking acts. When one victim refused to do as he wanted, Randles dragged her out of the shower by her hair, pushed and kicked her, stomped on her body, and punched her in the mouth. The victim’s mother was so terrified of Randles that she repeatedly told law enforcement officers that she feared Randles would kill her daughter or retaliate against their family if he found out they had contacted law enforcement.
On at least one occasion, Randles beat a victim to the point that she needed medical care, but did not allow her to receive it. When there was a dispute with a “client” about a commercial sex act, Randles would violently beat both the “john” and his trafficking victim, because he was worried that the “client” would post about the incident online and negatively affect his business.
Randles advertised his victims online. One victim reported being trafficked at least once a day, and up to as many as ten times in a day, while Randles kept the money generated by the trafficking. He also arranged for the serial rapes of at least two of his victims after driving them to Wenatchee – all for his own financial profit. As Randles admitted in his plea agreement, “roughly from 2009 onward, pimping women to engage in commercial sex acts was his sole source of income.”
United States Attorney Waldref said, “Randles used intimidation, violence, and humiliation to force his victims to perform commercial sex acts and caused immeasurable harm. The significant term of imprisonment imposed today will help the victims in the healing process while holding Randles accountable for his criminal conduct. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington will continue its aggressive efforts to bring justice to all victims of sexual exploitation. I commend the FBI and our local law enforcement partners who investigated this case. Today’s sentencing sends a clear message: law enforcement will protect the public from human traffickers through tenacious investigation and vigorous prosecution.”
The Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Seattle, Donald Voiret, said “For years Seth Randles terrorized and intimidated his victims, trafficking them to strangers and treating them as his personal property for his own personal gain. Our hope is these victims realize they are not invisible and see the imposition of the highest sentence possible, as tangible proof of our commitment to protect those involved in similar circumstances.”
This case was investigated by the Spokane Resident Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and prosecuted by David M. Herzog, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.