UPDATED, Wednesday, 9 a.m. | A third suspect has been arrested in a Washington State Patrol investigation of sex trafficking in King, Pierce, and Thurston counties.
Mikael Z. Williams, 18, was booked into the Pierce County jail Tuesday evening by Tacoma police, on suspicion of two counts of promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor, a jail roster shows. Earlier, state troopers issued a news release with his picture and a request for the public’s help locating him. Williams assisted his older brother Michael Williams, 22, and Curtis Escalonte, 23 in pimping girls at a Tacoma motel in November and December, a charging document alleges. Michael Williams and Escalonte were jailed earlier, the WSP said.
The Missing and Exploited Children’s Task Force got involved after a mother called to report her 15-year-old runaway daughter had engaged in prostitution, and her picture appeared on Backpage.com, authorities said.
The mother went to the motel in mid-December to confront those involved, and police found one of the suspects there with two females, in a red Impala. Detectives learned that Mikael Williams allegedly was aware of the sex trafficking, rented some of the hotel rooms used and expected to be paid for his part in the business, according to WSP.
The 15-year-old girl told detectives she had sex with men at motels, hotels and parking lots in Tacoma, Lacey, Federal Way, and met johns in Spanaway and Burien, according to a probable-cause document from the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.