Two 15-year-old runaways working as prostitutes were recovered by Fife police early Monday after one girl’s stepfather tracked her down at a motel, where another relative posed as a customer before the men called police, according to Pierce County prosecutors.
Two men, both alleged pimps in their 20s, were arrested at the same time and have since been charged in Pierce County Superior Court with promoting the commercial sex abuse of a minor, jail and court records show.
Joshua Jones, 23, and Samuel Miles-Johnson, 25, pleaded not guilty to the charges Tuesday and both remain in the Pierce County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail, according to a news release by Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.
According to charging papers, a friend of the girl’s stepfather spotted an ad on backpage.com advertising sex with the girl and alerted her family. The stepfather had his sister’s husband call the phone number in the ad and set up a date with the girl, the papers say.
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The second man agreed to pay the girl $1,200 for the night and when he arrived at a Motel 6 in Fife — with the stepfather waiting in a car at a nearby gas station — he saw another young girl and two men outside the motel room before confirming the other 15-year-old was inside, according to the charges. He told the girl he needed to go to an ATM, but instead returned to his car, where the girl’s stepfather called 911, the papers say.
Police later determined that the motel room the girls were using was registered to Jones and Miles-Johnson, and that Miles-Johnson’s phone number was listed as the contact number in a backpage.com ad advertising sex with the second 15-year-old girl, the papers say.
When that girl was detained by police, officers couldn’t find any identification in her purse but did find a handful of condoms, according to the papers.
The girl whose stepfather had tracked them down told an officer at one point, “I’d rather go to jail than go home,” the papers say.
It wasn’t immediately known Tuesday where the girls were taken.
According to court records, Jones has two prior promoting-prostitution convictions, including a 2011 case in which he pimped out a 17-year-old girl. In that case, he received credit for 41 days he served in the Pierce County Jail, court records show.
Miles-Johnson has prior convictions for first-degree robbery, vehicular assault and attempted first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, according to prosecutors.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org