A 37-year-old Kent man is facing charges for allegedly pimping out a mentally disabled woman after he was arrested in a police sting on Thanksgiving, focused on recovering women “being exploited on Backpage.com,” according to court records.
Charging documents say a Kent Police Department Special Investigations Unit detectives called a number listed in an escort ad on Backpage on Thanksgiving day and spoke with a woman about coming to his hotel room.
While the detective was on the phone with the woman, he noticed she was slow to respond to questions, which led police to believe she was “either new to the life of prostitution, extremely young, or developmentally disabled,” court documents say. Police also heard a man in the background during the phone call.
When the woman came to the detective’s hotel room, he detained her while other officers arrested her alleged pimp—identified in court documents as Walter Eugene Woods—out in the parking lot.
Police searched the woman’s bag and found sex toys, lube and condoms, along with a current ID from Garfield High School.
When detectives interviewed the woman, she told police “she had a mental disability and could not read or write.” She also said Woods was her pimp and that she had met him at Westlake Mall, where Woods works as an airbrush t-shirt artist.
When Woods first met the woman, he allegedly told her “they could make money by posting her on Backpage.com,” court records say. Court records also indicate the 18-year-old woman could not have posted her own escort ads on Backpage.com because “she could not type on her computer or text message because of her disability.”
Prosecutors say the woman worked as a prostitute for Woods in the week leading up to Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving day, court records say he told her he “was going to take her to eat with his family for Thanksgiving, but he wanted her to make some money first.”
Court records say Woods has prior convictions for child luring, domestic violence and obstruction, and assault after he was accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman while she was asleep.
He is currently being held in the Regional Justice Center in Kent on $75,000 bail.