Seattle — A repeat offender, who had just been released to a half-way house from federal prison, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 137 months in prison for attempted sex trafficking of a juvenile and attempted enticement of a minor, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. Prentice C. Hollingsworth, 45, was indicted in August 2020 and pleaded guilty in December 2020. At the sentencing hearing Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez noted that Hollingsworth was unknowingly communicating with an undercover agent, but that did not “lessen the fact that he was trying to traffic a minor, someone he knew was very vulnerable…. The fact that the Defendant was on federal supervision and state supervision and still went right back to this behavior is very telling,” the Chief Judge said.
“This defendant’s adult life has been spent either incarcerated or sexually assaulting young women and attempting to force vulnerable juveniles into prostitution,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Gorman. “The predatory nature of his crimes means the community is safe only when he is removed from society with a lengthy prison sentence.”
According to records filed in the case, Hollingsworth was released to a federal halfway house in Tacoma in December 2019. Less than a month later, he began communicating with an undercover Seattle Police Officer he had contacted via a web application. In these communications, Hollingsworth attempted to recruit the undercover officer, who presented herself as a 15-year-old girl, to work for him as a prostitute. Hollingsworth discussed many aspects of the prostitution business, including the fee he would charge the “juvenile” for his services as a pimp and the prices she should charge for various sex acts. Hollingsworth also advised the “juvenile” that she could earn more money from sex buyers because of her age, and he encouraged her to leave school so she could devote more time to earning money in the sex trade.
In January 2020, Hollingsworth was arrested at the halfway house in Tacoma shortly after he arranged for the “juvenile” to check into a hotel room in Fife, Washington, for the purpose of prostitution.
Hollingsworth has prior convictions for rape, promoting prostitution, and communicating with minors for an immoral purpose. Due to these prior convictions he is required to register as a sex offender. Following this prison term, he will be on lifetime supervised release.
The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kate Crisham.