Prosecutors have charged a second man accused of trying to recruit and pimp out an undercover SPD officer posing as a 17-year-old girl along Seattle’s busiest prostitution strip, “The Track.”
According to police records, the Track—a two block stretch around 6th and Thomas—is “known for a class of prostitute which is younger and cleaner than other locations within the county.” The particular strip the officer had staked out is referred to as “The Fashion Show,” because, police say, “prostitutes would dress in a bolder, more revealing manner.”
Jerry Lewis Smith, 41, is facing attempted promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor charges following his arrest during a police sting on Monday. Smith was the first alleged pimp arrested as part of SPD’s Operation Fast Track, targeting men who prey on and exploit young women for prostitution.
Court records say Smith was targeted in Operation Fast Track after he and another man pulled up to an undercover officer at Taylor Ave and John St shortly after 1:15 am on June 13th, and asked her what she was doing out on the street. “I’m working,” court records say the officer told Smith, who then told her to “Get in [his car] so we can talk about it.”
The officer didn’t get in Smith’s car, but chatted with him about condoms, money, and beer, which the officer told Smith she wasn’t able to buy because she was 17. The officer told Smith she’d been working as a prostitute for three weeks as a means to get away from her family.
During the conversation, Smith actively tried to recruit the officer, telling her that he would hold her money for her, and offered to provide protection. “You gotta be careful out there. It’s the city,” Smith allegedly told the officer. “A woman on the streets by herself is a dead woman.”
As the officer and Smith were talking, police swooped in on Smith, identified him, and released him.
A little more than a week later, on Monday, the undercover officer called Smith, told him she’d just been released from the Youth Service Center, and said she wanted to come work for him.
Smith told the officer he wanted to take her on a “six month tour,” with at least one stop in Las Vegas.
After several hours of phone calls, Smith showed up to meet the undercover officer at a gas station near the YSC. The undercover officer identified Smith, and arrest teams moved in.
Court records say Smith has previous convictions for disorderly conduct, violation of an anti-harassment order, bail jumping, illegal wapons possession, assault, harassment, reckless driving, obstruction, bank fraud, theft, and drug possession.