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Bremerton police break up commercial sex ring involving minor victims
Since December of 2012, detectives with the Bremerton Police Department have been working a rape and human trafficking investigation involving two juvenile victims (ages 16 and 17) and one adult victim. To date, five individuals have been arrested and charged for their involvement and are currently in-custody at the Kitsap County Jail. Two others have been charged with felonies, but are currently out of custody. The charges on these individuals range from second degree rape, second degree trafficking, promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor, tampering with a witness, to commercial sexual abuse of a minor.
“This kind of activity will not be tolerated in our community, and we will aggressively investigate anyone involved in exploiting kids,” said Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan. He added, “The young girls are victims, and the pimps, their adult employees, and the Johns are nothing but predatory criminals.”
Here is a rundown of arrests in the case so far, according to police:
• The leader of the criminal organization, 23-year-old Allixzander Park was arrested Dec. 31. Park has since been charged with second degree rape, second degree trafficking and promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor. Park is being held on those charges at the Kitsap County Jail.
• On Jan 17, 25-year-old Andre Herron was arrested and has since been charged with second degree trafficking. Herron is also incarcerated at the Kitsap County Jail.
• On Jan. 23, 22-year-old Victoria Pangelinan, who police refer to as Park’s girlfriend, was arrested and has since been charged with tampering with a witness. Pangelinan is currently incarcerated at the Kitsap County Jail.
• Trista Chisholm, 28, was arrested Feb. 5. Chisholm has been charged with promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor and is in custody at the Kitsap County Jail.
• Detectives arrested 23-year-old Demario Jones March 16. He has since been charged with second degree rape and promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor. He, too, is in custody at the Kitsap County Jail.
Two customers (also known as “Johns”), who had allegedly sex with the juvenile victims in exchange for money, according to police, have been charged:
• The first “John,” identified as 64-year old Stephen Wilson of Port Townsend, has been charged out of Kitsap County with commercial sexual abuse of a minor.
• The second “John” was identified as 45-year-old Scott Surma of Yelm. Police say the Thurston County Prosecutor has charged Surma with commercial sexual abuse of a minor.
Police say that in addition to coordinating, transporting and arranging the prostitution-related activities in Kitsap, Pierce, King and Thurston Counties, Allixzander Park also introduced the two juvenile victims to an adult working as a prostitute out of a motel in the city of Bremerton. The purpose of this introduction was for the two juvenile victims to learn about the commercial sex trade. This suspect has been identified as 28-year-old Trista Chisholm. Chisholm instructed the juvenile girls about the prices associated with prostituting, told them about websites commonly used to advertise prostitution and arranged for the girls to get started with one of her regular customers. When the “John” arrived, identified by police as Wilson, Chisholm set the customer and two girls up in a separate motel room. Chisholm received pain pills as payment from the “John” and each of the girls were paid $50 and some marijuana and a marijuana pipe in exchange for sex.
Early on in the investigation, Pangelinan was arrested for tampering with a witness. Police say Pangelinan sent a message to one of the juvenile victims, via Facebook, instructing her among other things to “say nothing about how she was making money.”
During the investigation, detectives found Park had created postings on a website known as Backpage.com to advertise for prostitution involving the victims. Investigators also learned Park and his co-conspirators rented motel rooms in various locations within Kitsap and Pierce County where the victims did “in-calls.”
Additionally, Park transported the victims to various locations in Jefferson, Kitsap, Pierce, Thurston and King Counties for the victims to engage in “out-calls.” Park pocketed all of the money earned by the juvenile victims and Herron pocketed all of the money earned by the adult victim.
Detectives have executed numerous search warrants on items and websites such as Park’s laptop computer, cellular phones from multiple suspects, Backpage.com and Facebook.com. Detectives have spent hours combing through text messages and phone toll information identifying customers (also known as “Johns”) who paid the victims for sex.
One such customer, Surma, has been identified and charged with commercial sexual abuse of a minor through the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office. Other customers have been identified but have not yet been charged. Detectives expect to make more arrests as additional “Johns” are identified.