A 17-year-old girl arrested Wednesday as part of an underage prostitution sting was listed as missing in a March Amber Alert.
A 56-year-old man arrested in the same incident on charges that include human trafficking is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.
The arrests came after Lakewood police conducted an undercover sting operation Dec. 7 at a motel in the 11700 block of Pacific Avenue in Lakewood.
In charging papers, Pierce County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Steven Merrival said a meetup between an undercover officer and the girl was arranged through a Backpage.com escort ad.
The girl posted the ad using bitcoins, an online currency.
The charging documents gave this account:
After meeting the undercover officer in the motel room, the girl agreed to engage in sex for $300. She then was arrested.
The girl was taken to the Remann Hall juvenile justice center, where she was booked and released. Before she was released, the girl told police she had planned on robbing the undercover officer.
She also said she had been a prostitute for a year. Police said they found suspected heroin and methamphetamine on her.
During the sting, officers saw a car drop the girl off at the motel and park. After the girl’s arrest, officers arrested the man sitting in the driver’s seat of the car.
He told officers he had known the girl for about a year. He said she frequents local motels, and he admitted knowing the girl was a prostitute.
He was arraigned Monday on charges of human trafficking, promoting prostitution and commercial sexual abuse of a minor.
In the Amber Alert, she was reported as last being seen in the company of an adult male.
Merrival found a police report placing the girl at the Calico Cat motel in September. Tacoma officials recently shut down the motel for alleged prostitution and drug activities.