Two brothers, ages 15 and 17, are accused of pimping out girls as young as 14 from their mother’s Spokane, Washington, home.
The 15-year-old, identified by his initials D.H., and the 17-year-old, T.H., came under suspicion when T.H. was arrested on a shooting charge in February. Police told KHQ that people involved in the shooting were threatening witnesses so they tapped the family’s phone.
T.H. was allegedly mentoring D.H. about running a prostitution ring using sites like Backpage.com to advertise the services. The teens reportedly communicated in code and used furtive language, such as: "Make them think they're going to be reimbursed, even if they're not," and "Treat them right, that way they stay around, and make sure they do the calls.”
Police moved in using a sting operation — they met with underage girls on the website and the victims told officers what was happening. The boys’ mother was also apparently making a profit off of the operation, and received 25 percent of the earnings, PIX11 reported.
T.H. has a child with one of the underage victims, who was also his girlfriend at the time. Minors cannot consent to sex, regardless of any relationship they may have.
Both teens are also facing charges of promoting sex with a minor. D.H. is facing charges of possession of depictions of minors, dealing sexually explicit material, promoting travel for the purpose of sex with minors, conspiracy to promote travel for the purpose of sex with minors, and first degree robbery for allegedly robbing a customer. His brother also faces serious charges, including six counts of first degree assault with a firearm, leading organized crime, promoting prostitution, conspiracy to promote commercial sex abuse of a minor, and promoting commercial sex abuse of a minor.
It is unclear if the boys’ mother has been charged.