Venoy Overton (left) is in trouble with the law again.
Kent police arrested the former Washington guard Thursday afternoon for promoting prostitution, a second-degree felony, in connection with an investigation that began in May.
Overton, 22, was being held at the Kent Corrections Center and was expected to appear in front of a judge Friday. He has not been charged.
The offense is punishable by up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
This isn’t Overton’s first brush with law enforcement officials.
He was charged March 8 with supplying alcohol to a minor in a Jan. 8 incident involving two 16-year-old girls. One of the girls told police she felt pressure to perform sex, but King County prosecutors declined to file sex charges.
Overton agreed to a deal with the City Attorney’s Office in which he would not have to answer for the charge for supplying alcohol to a minor would if he avoided new criminal charges for a year and completed 24 hours of community service in the next two months.
Overton became a polarizing figure when police began a sexual misconduct investigation in January that involved an unnamed men’s basketball player. The identity of the player was one of the worst-kept secrets in Seattle. Overton was subjected to taunts from opposing fans in road games at Washington State and Oregon.
When charges were filed, he was suspended for the Pac-10 Tournament while many believed he ruined the team’s reputation and should have been kicked off the team.
Coach Lorenzo Romar re-instated Overton for the NCAA tournament. At the time, UW officials said they were working behind the scenes to counsel Overton. He spoke as if he was the victim on Jan. 8 and said he wanted to change his reputation.
Last week, Romar expressed how proud he was in Overton who received a degree in American Ethnic studies and attended graduation ceremonies Saturday.
Overton told me after the season he was hoping to pursue a playing career overseas to support his newborn daughter.
In a statement released by UW, Romar said Overton’s latest mishap is “troubling.”
“I have been informed of the arrest of Venoy Overton and I am extremely disappointed,” Romar said. “My staff and I spent an extraordinary amount of time and energy attempting to mentor Venoy prior to his recent graduation, so this news is especially troubling.”
Here’s a copy of the Kent police media release.
Kent Police have arrested Venoy Overton for second degree Promoting Prostitution, a class C felony punishable by up to 5 years incarceration and a $10,000 fine. The arrest came at 3 P.M. today when Kent detectives located him in a South Seattle neighborhood. The arrest was made without incident.
Kent Police detectives began their investigation of Overton in May when undercover Kent Officers contacted an 18 year old woman for prostitution activity on Pacific Highway South. While speaking with the woman, officers learned that she had been brought to the area by her boyfriend who directed her to perform acts of prostitution. She identified her boyfriend at Venoy Overton. The young woman also told officers that she had been given specific instructions of what sex acts to perform and what to charge, and had returned a portion of the money gained back to Overton. The woman further disclosed that she had been brought to the area to prostitute on two prior occasions.
Following their first meeting with the woman, Kent Detectives obtained additional evidence linking Overton to the crime. “This investigation and arrest highlights the need to continue to aggressively investigate and enforce the laws regarding human trafficking offenses” noted Kent Police Lieutenant Pat Lowery. Overton is now being held at the Kent Corrections Center and is likely to appear before a Judge on Friday.
Photo credit: Seattle Times – Jim Bates
Updated: 7:45 p.m.