Washington Man Imprisoned for Slavery and Forced Prostitution

Diana Hefley at Everett’s Herald Writer reported on the case of Jerome Todd, 29, who was sentenced to 26 years in prison for forcing three women to engage in prostitution to support his lavish lifestyle.

Todd groomed the victims to become dependent on him, isolated them from their families and friends, then posted ads on Craigslist selling sex. He and a co-defendant set the women up in motels, providing them with cell phones, lingerie, condoms and very strict rules to follow. If they disobeyed his orders, they were assaulted, the victims told attorneys.

Todd used the money the women made to support a lavish lifestyle, full of high-end jewelry and expensive clothes, the jury found. He told one witness he pimped women as a way to avoid paying child support for at least 13 children he acknowledges fathering, according to court records.

“You have become dependent on a lifestyle — to be a player or womanizer, or whatever — that requires you to manipulate and exploit women,” U.S. District Court Judge James L. Robart said. “I have little or no doubt in my mind if I sentenced you to time served you’d go back to the conduct that got you here shortly.”

Todd will be on probation for five years and be required to register as a sex offender when he is released. He also must pay nearly $70,000 to three women who worked for him as prostitutes.

Everett police detectives began investigating Todd in March 2007 after a woman reported seeing her daughter’s picture on Craigs­list, advertising that she was selling sex. The FBI, Seattle police and the IRS joined the investigation.

Read the whole piece, which includes Todd’s pitiful excuses, here.

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