Posted: Oct 22, 2015 5:49 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 22, 2015 8:50 PM EDT
SPOKANE, Wash. -
A 15-year-old Spokane teen appeared in Spokane Superior Court Thursday to face some very adult charges. We will not be naming the teen, because he's underage, but will refer to him as D.H.
Police say D.H. and his 17-year-old older brother, T.H., were pimping out kids and making lots of money doing it. Police say the investigation started back in February. That's when they arrested T.H. on a shooting charge. They say he was involved in a shooting near the Hillyard Safeway on January 26. Police say they heard that those arrested for that shooting were making threats against witnesses, warning them not to talk. To follow up on those threats, they tapped the phones in the Spokane County Juvenile Detention Center. That's when an entirely different story fell into their lap.
They say on recorded phone calls they heard T.H. telling D.H. how to run a prostitution ring, using, among others, the brothers' girlfriends as prostitutes. One of those girls, who was underage, has a child with T.H.
Police say D.H. was using Backpage.com to advertise the girls, then would send them out to calls. According to court documents the brothers talked in code, saying things like "Make them think they're going to be reimbursed, even if they're not," and "Treat them right, that way they stay around, and make sure they do the calls."
According to court documents, police found the underage girls on Backpage.com and set up a meeting with them. Court docs say when the girls found out their "johns" were actually police officers, they told the entire story. According to one of those girls, they gave a quarter of the money they made to the brothers' mom. They said she was using part of it to save for the cost of bailing out T.H. T.H.'s bail was $175,000, so she would need $17,500 in order to bail him out.
Police say their investigation crossed into a separate investigation by the Spokane County Sheriff's Office into a robbery that happened during a prostitution call. Sheriff's deputies say during the call, the prostitute and her pimps attacked the "john" and robbed him of at least $400. They believe that D.H. was one of those pimps. They also believe D.H. beat up a prostitute, and he's been charged with that. They also found nude pictures of underage girls on his cell phone, and he's been charged with that as well. D.H. is being held in the Spokane County Jail on a $175,000 bond.
In all, here are the charges D.H. is facing:
Charge 1: Exploiting a minor for sexual purposes
Charge 2: Possession of depictions of minors
Charge 3: Dealing sexually explicit material
Charge 4: Promoting travel for the purpose of sex with minors
Charge 5: Promoting sex with minors
Charge 6: Conspiracy to promote travel for the purpose of sex with minors
Charge 7: First Degree Robbery
In all, here are the charges T.H. is facing:
Charge 1: First Degree Assault with a firearm (6 charges in all, due to victims involved)
Charge 7: Promoting sex with a minor
Charge 8: Promoting commercial sex abuse of a minor
Charge 9: Leading organized crime
Charge 10: Promoting prostitution
Charge 11: Conspiracy to promote commercial sex abuse of a minor