Seattle police investigating alleged prostitution ties to government leaders

by: Amy Clancy, Casey McNerthney Updated:

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A well-known Capitol Hill community member is being investigated for allegedly training sex workers for “highly paid” escort work and providing them to government leaders.

There have been no arrests, but Sexual Assault Unit detectives served a search warrant last March at a residence for the well-known community member.

The investigation is ongoing.

If you have information about the investigation or alleged prostitution activities on Capitol Hill, follow this link to e-mail KIRO 7 investigators.

A young man who worked on Capitol Hill -- who later spoke to police -- said that the well-known Capitol Hill community member “told him explicitly that he could be working for persons in positions of power, and specifically mentioned government leaders (not by name, but by role),” according to police investigation documents.

Among the items removed by detectives from the home on March 1: four cameras, at least nine cellphones, more than five computers and multiple hard drives.

KIRO 7 obtained the investigation documents in March and reached out to the well-known Capitol Hill community member for comment. He did not respond.

Investigators are looking into whether the electronics they seized may have been used to record multiple photo shoots as part of a training regimen to prepare young men and women for the “highly paid” escort work in Seattle, investigation documents show.

Police describe alleged grooming

The young man who spoke to police met the well-known Capitol Hill community member through his job, and told police that shortly after he was befriended, the community member said he could get him work as a highly-paid escort.

The possible sexual acts would involve both genders, he was allegedly told.

The young man was allegedly told that other males and at least one female were placed into similar lucrative escort work. The young man also was allegedly told profits would be as much as $1,000 per event.

A well-known Capitol Hill community member is being investigated for allegedly training sex workers for “highly paid” escort work and providing them to government leaders.

Police said the young man showed them explicit text conversations in which the well-known Capitol Hill community member described sexual acts. The community member also claimed one of the prostitutes performed a sexual act on him, according to investigation documents.

Police reviewed text messages from January 16 to March 1 before serving the search warrant on the home. Detectives are investigating claims that the young man was being groomed for escort work, and the training included multiple photos shoots.

Police told of a fall-out

The young man told police he had a falling out with the well-known Capitol Hill community member in February.

That month, the young man contacted police -- separate from the Sexual Assault Unit investigation -- and said he believed the suspect and another person “drugged him in their home and raped him,” according to police investigation documents.

“He had no specific recollection of that assault, but reported that he felt significant anal-rectal pain the following morning. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he completed a sexual assault examination.”

The laboratory results of that examination were pending as of March. Police did not comment further this week on specifics of the ongoing investigation.

A well-known Capitol Hill community member is being investigated for allegedly training sex workers for “highly paid” escort work and providing them to government leaders.
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“During his interview with the reporting officer, (the young man) said that he believed that there was photographic evidence of the assault” at the suspect’s home.

Those statement were used as reason detectives wanted to obtain the search warrant for the home.

On a follow-up interview, the young man “appeared less clear about knowing for certain” if the suspect and the other person committed the sexual assault against him, “but was still certain about feeling … as though he had been anally raped,” according to investigation documents.

He expressed certainty about drugs and alleged promoting prostitution, police said.

A friend of the well-known Capitol Hill community member also told police of additional people who may have engaged in similar behavior -- though the person “was unsure if these persons were contacted … for the purpose of prostitution.” 

‘Active and ongoing’ investigation

Detectives believe they had probable cause to find other victims. They used the information from the young man to get the search warrant for the home.

They were looking to find communication from the well-known Capitol Hill community member, photos of the young man, photos of others, and evidence of crimes.

Among the multiple computers, hard drives and cameras seized, police also said they seized a lunchbox with paraphernalia and crystallized powder.

On Thursday a department spokesman did not elaborate other than confirming that the investigation is “active an ongoing”

If you have information about the investigation or alleged prostitution activities on Capitol Hill, follow this link to e-mail KIRO 7 investigators.