TACOMA, Wash. - Two men were charged Tuesday with raping a 24-year-old woman and prostituting a 16-year-old girl on the website Backpage.com.
Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Claude Hutchinson, 25, and Eugene Young, 27, with promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor and second-degree rape.
Prosecutors said that on Sept. 25, the 16-year-old victim met the two men on a bus and agreed to help them cash a check.
The next day, Hutchinson and Young took her to a motel in Fife, where they had rented two rooms, one to stay in and one to use for prostitution, charging documents said.
Prosecutors said the men took pictures of the girl in her underwear, promised to take care of her if she made money for them and threatened to hurt her if she didn't comply.
Documents said that over the next week, the girl performed 20 to 30 “dates” and gave the proceeds, about $2,000, to Hutchinson and Young.
Prosecutors said they used the money for food, condoms, and to pay for the hotel rooms.
On Sept. 28, police arrested the girl for prostitution. She was released from custody and returned to her mother, but she was not wanted at home, prosecutors said. She then reunited with Hutchinson and Young.
On Oct. 2, the Lakewood Police Department and the FBI's Innocence Lost Task Force were informed that a teen was posing as an escort on the website Backpage.com.
Undercover officers said they arrested the girl at a SeaTac motel after setting up phony prostitution dates.
The victim told police she feared Hutchinson and Young, who had attacked a woman who had refused to work for them, documents said.
Investigators tracked down the second victim, who had broken up with Young after learning he was a pimp, police said.
Police said the woman recently met with Young, who took her to a motel in Fife, where he and Hutchinson beat and sexually assaulted her for several days.
The victim's family rescued her when the men left the hotel room.
The men will be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon.
"We are focused on vigorously prosecuting pimps, especially those who exploit and abuse underage girls. Backpage.com, unfortunately, is still being used for sex-trafficking of minors,” said Lindquist.
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