Spokane sex trafficker to spend 20 years in federal prison

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SPOKANE, Wash. — A Spokane man will spend two decades in federal prison for sex trafficking women over several years.

Seth Randles, 38, pleaded guilty to two federal sex trafficking charges and was sentenced on Friday.

Randles was found to have used violence, threats and manipulation to force women to engage in commercial sex acts with strangers of his choosing. He admitted to doing this from 2009 until 2017, when a victim came forward.

Law enforcement officers learned Randles forced his victims to perform sex acts on the main floor of his Spokane house, while he hid on the second floor. He would take money his victims earned, then physically abuse and threaten them to make sure they complied.

The U.S. District Attorney’s office said he made at least one victim get a tattoo of his street name to indicate she was his property. In another case, he pushed, kicked, stomped on and punched one woman in the mouth when she refused to do what he wanted. He also beat one so badly she needed medical care, but would not take her to get help.

Authorities said Randles would instruct his victims on how to perform sex acts and provide them with scripts. If any of them deviated from what he said, he would violently assault them.

“Randles used intimidation, violence, and humiliation to force his victims to perform commercial sex acts and caused immeasurable harm,” said U.S. Attorney Vanessa Waldref. “The significant term of imprisonment imposed today will help the victims in the healing process while holding Randles accountable for his criminal conduct. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington will continue its aggressive efforts to bring justice to all victims of sexual exploitation. I commend the FBI and our local law enforcement partners who investigated this case. Today’s sentencing sends a clear message: law enforcement will protect the public from human traffickers through tenacious investigation and vigorous prosecution.”

“For years Seth Randles terrorized and intimidated his victims, trafficking them to strangers and treating them as his personal property for his own personal gain,” said Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Donald Voiret. “Our hope is these victims realize they are not invisible and see the imposition of the highest sentence possible, as tangible proof of our commitment to protect those involved in similar circumstances.”

Randles will spend 20 years in federal custody, the maximum sentence available, which will be followed by a 15-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.