A 26-year-old felon was sentenced Friday to 14-1/2 years in prison for impersonating a police officer to extort sex from a woman and two 15-year-old girls after responding to their online ads for prostitution and escort services.
Defense attorney Jonathan Newcomb argued Friday that his client, a 26-year-old felon, should only face 12 ½ years in prison for impersonating a police officer to extort sex from a woman and two 15-year-old girls after responding to their online ads for prostitution and escort services.
Newcomb’s client, Julian Tarver, pleaded guilty in December to 10 felonies and five misdemeanors, including child rape, unlawful imprisonment and criminal impersonation.
“Mr. Tarver did not put any of these women into the sex trade. … No one likes men who frequent prostitutes … and that’s what’s going on here,” Newcomb said.
King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Sean O’Donnell fired back: “He is the sex trade. You may have a pimp on one hand, but if you don’t have men like Mr. Tarver, you wouldn’t have this circumstance.”
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Superior Court Judge Mary Yu agreed and sentenced Tarver to 14 ½ years. Yu told Tarver: “I, too, am highly offended by the behavior” that exploited and deceived already vulnerable girls and women.
According to court documents, Tarver found his victims online and invited them to his apartment, where he would flash a badge, whip out handcuffs and “arrest” the victim. He allowed two 19-year-old women to leave without having sex with them, though he made one of the women strip in front of him, and stole $600 cash, her identification and a pawn slip.
Three other victims — the two juveniles and a 23-year-old woman — were raped by Tarver, who at different times claimed to be a police officer, a U.S. Marshal and an agent with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
According to court documents, Tarver found both of the juvenile victims through ads posted on backpage.com, the online advertising site owned by Village Voice Media, the parent company of Seattle Weekly and a dozen other weekly alternative newspapers across the country.
The father of one of Tarver’s juvenile victims said his daughter was first victimized by her pimp, who advertised her on backpage.com, and then victimized “by every man who paid to have sex with her.”
Things got worse for his daughter when “she met Julian Tarver,” the man said. “Imagine the terror for a 15-year-old girl, who was handcuffed and raped by someone she thought was a police officer.”
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or email@example.com
Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report, which includes information from Times archives.