Less than a month after his release from state prison, a 45-year-old Tacoma man tried to pimp out an undercover police officer posing as a 15-year-old girl while the man was living in a federal halfway house, according to King County prosecutors.

Prentice Hollingsworth, a Level 3 sex offender, was arrested by Seattle police at the Tacoma Residential Re-entry Center last week and was charged Tuesday with attempted promoting the commercial sex abuse of a minor, jail and court records show. He was booked into the King County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of $400,000 bail.

If convicted, Hollingsworth would receive his “second strike” and could face life in prison as a persistent sex offender, the charges say.

Hollingsworth was convicted of first-degree rape for using a gun to rape a 17-year-old girl in Clark County in 1996; in 2010, he was convicted of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes after he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl, also in Clark County, according to his “offender details” on the Pierce County Sheriff’s online sex offender registry.

In February 2012, he was convicted in U.S. District Court in  Texas and sentenced to six years in federal prison for failing to register as a sex offender after he moved from Washington to Wichita Falls without updating his sex-offender registration, federal court records show. Hollingsworth’s federal probation was later transferred back to Washington, according to the records.

Then in fall 2018, the state Indeterminate Sentence Review Board revoked Hollingsworth’s community supervision in the 2010 Clark County case and he was returned to state prison, according to the state Department of Corrections (DOC). He was released from the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton on Dec. 26.


Three weeks later, on Jan. 16, Hollingsworth sent a message to the undercover social-media profile of a Seattle police detective assigned to the Vice & High Risk Victims Unit, who was posing as a 15-year-old girl, the charges say. Over the next week, the detective exchanged numerous messages with Hollingsworth, who ultimately directed her to go to a Fife hotel where one of Hollingsworth’s friends would help her book a room, charging papers say.

“He told her he would help her make thousands of dollars through prostitution. The defendant told the girl that she needed to charge sex buyers more money because of her young age,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Benjamin Gauen wrote in the charges. “The defendant provided instructions on how to perform sex acts, how to lie and tell people she was 18 or 19-years-old, and how to avoid detection at hotels.”

Gauen went on to write that Hollingsworth told the fictitious girl that he had been a pimp for 15 years, and if she chose him as her pimp, she would have to pay him a $1,000 “choosing fee,” the charges say. When he was arrested by Seattle police detectives, they “observed a large tattoo on the defendant’s neck that reads ‘Pimp City,'” Gauen wrote.