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Men charged with raping a woman and pandering a teen girl on BackPage.com | Pierce County Prosecutor
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Claude Hutchinson, 25, and Eugene Young, 27, with Promoting Commercial Sexual Abuse of a Minor for prostituting a 16-year-old girl, and Rape in the Second Degree for sexually assaulting a 24-year-old woman. They will be arraigned today at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 270 in the County City Building in Tacoma.
“This prosecution is the result of a successful collaboration between the FBI, Lakewood Police, and our office,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “We are focused on vigorously prosecuting pimps, especially those who exploit and abuse underage girls. Backpage.com, unfortunately, is still being used for sex-trafficking of minors.”
On September 25, the 16-year-old victim met the defendants on a transit bus and agreed to help them cash a check. The next day the defendants took her to a motel in Fife, where they had rented two rooms, one to stay in and one to use for prostitution. The defendants took pictures of the girl in her underwear and promised to take care of her if she made them money. They threatened to hurt her if she didn’t comply.
Over the next week, the girl performed 20-30 “dates” and gave the proceeds, approximately $2,000, to the defendants. They used the money for food, condoms, and to pay for the hotel rooms. On September 28, police arrested the victim for prostitution. She was released from custody and returned to her mother, but she was not wanted at home. She then reunited with the defendants.
On October 2, the Lakewood Police Department and the FBI’s Innocence Lost Task Force were informed that a teen was posting as an escort on the website Backpage.com. Undercover officers arrested the girl at a SeaTac motel after setting up phony prostitution dates. The victim told police she feared the defendants, who had assaulted a woman who had refused to work for them.
Investigators tracked down the second victim, who had broken up with defendant Young after learning he was a pimp. She recently met with Young, who took her to a motel in Fife where he and defendant Hutchinson beat and sexually assaulted her for several days. The victim’s family rescued her when the defendants left the hotel room.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.