TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Joshua Jones, 23, and Samuel Miles-Johnson, 25, with Promoting Commercial Sex Abuse of a Minor after the two were arrested in Fife yesterday. Family and friends of one of the girls discovered her picture in the website Backpage.com's escort section and helped police locate them by posing as a potential customer.
On June 10, 2013, shortly after midnight, 15 year old O.L.’s step-father reported to police that a friend found a prostitution ad on Backpage.com and had arranged to meet her in room #236 at the Motel 6 in Fife. Police contacted O.L.’s step-father at a gas station next to the motel. He advised O.L. was a runaway. Police contacted the motel and learned that room #236 was registered to defendants Jones and Miles-Johnson.
Police observed the defendants walking with another 15 year old girl, T.C., outside the motel. They contacted the three and separated T.C. from the two men. Jones admitted he had rented the motel room so that O.L. could engage in prostitution. Jones admitted he expected to be compensated for renting the room. He told officers they would find O.L. in room #236. Officers went to the hotel room and found O.L. in the room.
Officers went onto the internet and found Backpage.com web pages that advertised prostitution. There were web pages that advertised T.C. and O.L. as prostitutes. The web pages told the customers to call a specific phone number. The phone with that number was found on defendant Miles-Johnson when he was arrested. This was the same number used on the room registration.
Officers later learned that T.C. was also a runaway. When they searched her purse they could not find any identification, but found 6-8 condoms.
Defendant Jones has prior felony convictions for Promoting Prostitution (2010), Forgery (2011) and Promoting Prostitution in the First Degree (2011). Defendant Miles-Johnson has prior felony convictions for Robbery in the First Degree (2007), Vehicular Assault (2008), Attempted Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the First Degree (2010), and two counts of Identity Theft in the Second Degree (2011).
The defendants were arraigned today in Pierce County Superior Court. They pleaded not guilty, and bail was set at $500,000 for each defendant.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
For more information, please contact Kelly Kelstrup at (253) 798-7792, [email protected].