Authorities charge man with forcing Issaquah runaway to work as prostitute

April 6, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

Prosecutors charged a Renton man with promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor last week after authorities said he ordered a runaway 15-year-old Issaquah girl to work as a prostitute.

Seattle Police arrested Deandre Gant, 22, at his Renton residence March 23, after the girl told detectives he had ordered her to perform sex acts so “they” could earn money, court documents state.

Gant will be arraigned April 8 at the King County Courthouse in Seattle.

Investigators said relatives reported the girl had been missing from Issaquah on March 12. Relatives suspected she might be with Gant — who she called Dre — but when the girl’s stepfather contacted Gant, he refused to provide her stepfather with her mobile phone number, court documents state.

Investigators said the girl had been exploited as a prostitute in 2008, and suspected she might again be a victim.

Authorities said Gant allowed the girl to stay with him at his Renton residence after she left home. About a week after she arrived, Gant no longer allowed her to remain in the residence during the day, court documents state. Authorities said she then went to Seattle to work as a prostitute.

A Seattle Police officer recovered the girl March 20 along Aurora Avenue North. She told investigators she had been working as a prostitute for about a week, court documents said.

Investigators found text messages from Gant on her mobile phone in which he ordered her to keep working as a prostitute.

After police recovered her, the girl texted Gant and told him the police had found her. She said she was on her way to his residence to pick up her clothes, court documents state. Officers arrived at the residence, and found Gant standing curbside with clothes the girl identified as hers. Police recovered the clothes, seized Gant’s mobile phone and transported the girl to her home.

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