Sentencing in Human Trafficking, Promoting Prostitution Case
On Friday, Curtis Lee Coleman was sentenced to 140 months and 54 months (two separate criminal counts), to run concurrent. His total sentenced time in custody is 140 months.
Coleman’s sentencing followed his pleas of guilty to the crimes of Human Trafficking in the Second Degree and Promoting Prostitution in the First Degree — Domestic Violence. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office requested a high-end sentence of 171 months in prison for his victimization of five (5) victims.
Mr. Coleman was a prolific self-identified “pimp” who trafficked his victims, including three (3) juvenile females, along Aurora Ave N in Seattle and other parts of Washington state and beyond. The grooming and coercive tactics Mr. Coleman employed are commonly seen in trafficking situations. However, this case stands apart because of the dedicated investigation of the Seattle Police Department — specifically Detective Maurice Washington of the High Risk Victims Unit who worked tirelessly to identify Mr. Coleman’s victims and build a case that resulted in Mr. Coleman’s successful prosecution.
Below is an excerpt from the King County Prosecutor’s Office sentencing memo:
“The defendant’s trafficking enterprise involved these young girls being trafficked in King County, across Washington state in cities such as Yakima, Wenatchee, and the Tri-Cities, and even across state lines into Idaho and Montana. The defendant transported the victims to known prostitution tracks such as Aurora A venue North; instructed them to prostitute; set the rules and expectations; and then would collect all the money each night from the proceeds of their victimization. He instructed them on which sex acts they were permitted to perform with sex buyers and how much to charge. On a typical day, the defendant made around $400 from the commercial sexual abuse of one minor victim alone. The girls were expected to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”
In an interview with KIRO Radio, Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ben Gauen said, “this was a two plus year investigation by the Seattle Police Department’s High Risk Victim Unit, who worked tirelessly to identify all of these victims, and ultimately hold Mr. Coleman accountable. This case shines a light on the insidious ecosystem of sex trafficking along Aurora Avenue.”
“This case also demonstrates the resilience and strength of sex trafficking survivors. As a result of the Seattle Police Department’s hard work and determination to identify these victims and hold the defendant accountable, all five of these victims have been able to move on with their lives. They are out of the life of sex trafficking — they have other employment, they have families, they have stability.”