A couple has been sentenced for prostituting a 15-year-old Lacey runaway they met in Tacoma.
Prosecutors said 26-year-old Desmond Wade Jr. and 25-year-old Michkalin Fox kept the girl in a hotel room and convinced her to prostitute herself online.
Wade pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree human trafficking and first-degree promoting prostitution, and Pierce County Superior Court Judge John Hickman gave him a mid-range sentence of 12 years.
Fox also pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree promoting prostitution and unlawful harboring of a minor. Hickman gave her a suspended sentence of 364 days, which means she won’t have to serve the time if she avoids further trouble with the law.
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Hickman called what happened to the teenager, “some of the most inhumane treatment I think one person can do to another person.”
According to charging papers, the 15-year-old met Wade after she ran away from Lacey to Tacoma in January 2014. She told investigators the couple fed her about once a week and got her addicted to methamphetamine.
In a letter to the court, Wade apologized for his behavior and said he took responsibility for it.
He grew up without a father, he said, and wants to be there for his own children.
“I’ve realized the importance of my presence in their lives,” he wrote. “I want nothing more than to be a positive role model for them. And it would be very unfortunate if my absence contributed to them someday being in the same position as me.”
Fox’s attorney told the court she’d been taking college classes and working to support the toddler she has with Wade.
Hickman asked Fox what she’d learned, and she told him she has younger sisters and has thought about how she wouldn’t want them involved in prostitution.
“It’s something that will never ever happen again,” she told the judge about her charges.