Tacoma Pimp Sentenced to 25 Years for Sex Trafficking Two Victims
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 20, 2013|
PORTLAND, OR—U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown sentenced Christopher Cool Wilmer, 30, of Tacoma, to 25 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for four counts of sex trafficking involving a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old. In May 2013, just weeks before trial, Wilmer pled guilty to the indictment.
According to court documents filed for the sentencing hearing, the investigation began on February 22, 2012, when police responded to a call for help from the 18-year-old victim at a Motel 6. She reported that her pimp “Cool” had locked her out of a room where he was also pimping another young woman. Portland Police officers learned that the registered guest to that room was Christopher Cool Wilmer, who had previous arrests for promoting prostitution. Officers went to the room where they found the 16-year-old victim and a john. Although the victim initially denied knowing Wilmer, officers later observed pictures on her cell phone showing Wilmer, including pictures of him flexing under the caption “Daddy Cool,” and in a bubble bath. Wilmer manipulated the 16-year-old victim into performing numerous commercial sex acts. Text messages sent to Wilmer described her pain and humiliation at having been manipulated and coerced by the defendant into performing these acts.
Further investigation uncovered records of Wilmer’s travel with the victims on Amtrak and Greyhound between Oregon and Washington. Agents also located 30 postings to the escort section of Backpage.com advertising the services of the 16-year-old minor between January and February 2012. Ads featured the minor in provocative poses and set prices for these “services” for $60 to $125 per hour. Witness testimony established Wilmer placed new sex trafficking recruits on 90-day probation periods to evaluate their performance. He also established certain “rules” to gain compliance, such as prohibiting the minor victim from eating food until she earned her daily quota from walking the “track” (Southeast 82nd) performing commercial sex acts. Wilmer demanded that the minor always answer his phone calls, stay ready to work at all times, and never look another man in the eyes.
The defendant argued against labeling him as a “pimp” and called witness Anthony Marcus, an anthropologist, who testified that a more accurate term for Wilmer’s role was “market facilitator.” The government countered that Wilmer branded himself a pimp with arm tattoos that read: “Hoe Hard [or] Hoe Home.”
“Federal law prohibits buying or selling children for sex. Safeguarding minors from commercial sexual exploitation is one of the top priorities of my office and the Department of Justice,” stated U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall. “Contrary to defendant’s assertions that this problem is merely mythical and exaggerated by ‘panicked’ social workers, a recent research study conducted by Portland State University identified at least 469 children who were victims of commercial sexual exploitation in the Portland Metro area between 2009 and 2013. Such data reflects a serious and real problem that my office will continue to combat through aggressive prosecution.”
In crafting an appropriate sentence, Judge Brown noted the terrible nature of the offense and addressed the negative impact it has on victims and our community. She also described as an aggravating factor defendant’s history of devaluing the women around him.
“No child deserves to endure the violence that these girls face every day. They don’t deserve the rape and drug abuse and control that these pimps exert. These kids are not throwaways...they are not somebody else’s problem,” said Greg Fowler, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “The Child Exploitation Task Force is doing everything it can to recover these girls and get them connected with a support system. But, this is not just a law enforcement problem or a social service problem. This is a community-wide problem, and we need a whole community response to really be effective.”
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF), led by two task force detectives from the Tigard Police Department and Portland Police Bureau (PPB). The FBI-sponsored CETF partners with local law enforcement agencies to combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the area. Partners include the Portland Police Bureau, Tigard Police Department, Beaverton Police Department, and Vancouver Police Department, who work closely with prosecutors from both the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah K. Bolstad.