An alleged Backpage.com pimp is facing rarely used human trafficking charges for forcing a woman into a cross-country prostitution spree, according to charges filed in King County Superior Court.
King County prosecutors say the woman met Charles Deville Nash at a bus stop in April 2011, where he gave her his phone number. The woman began exchanging phone calls and text messages with Nash, and the two started dating before Nash became the woman’s pimp, driving her around the country, forcing her to work as a prostitute.
“Nash would drive [her] to areas of prostitution in various cities as well as take photos of her so she could be posted on Backpage as an escort,” a Seattle vice detective wrote in police records. Police say Nash kept the woman under his control by “terrorizing her with assaults, threats and manipulation to keep her from leaving the life of prostitution.”
Under Nash’s direction, prosecutors say the woman ended up in Bellingham, Portland, Seattle, Utah, California, Idaho, and Las Vegas. Nash “made it clear she did not have the option to stop working for him,” police say.
When the woman eventually tried to flee from Nash in Las Vegas, Nash slapped her around, grabbed her by the hair, punched her in the back of the head, and told her “he would kill her if she ever tried to leave him again,” police records say.
The woman still went forward caught rides from truckers and scraped together money for a bus ticket to Portland.
In Portland, police records say, a man walked up to the woman on the street and told her to call Nash or it “was going to be ‘her head.'”
The woman, terrified of Nash, went back to working for him. “He has killed someone before and knows that he has beaten several women very badly,” the woman claimed told police.
Nash allegedly told the woman she had to start making $1,000 a day for him as punishment, and put her to work in the Seattle area.
Police finally arrested Nash in September afte he allegedly threatened the woman with a gun on Aurora. When officers searched his car, they found evidence of Nash’s cross country travels, including a Utah key chain, and a “gold card” from a Nevada casino, along with a DVD titled “Cross Country Pimpin.”
“Disturbingly, the defendant has been investigated for promoting prostitution on multiple occasions,” prosecutors wrote in charging documents. Indeed, court documents say Nash has prior convictions for promoting prostitution, attempting to elude police, DUI.
Nash is currently being held at the King County Jail on $750,000 bail.