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Innocence Lost, Part 3: Pimps in Westlake Park

SEATTLE — Seattle detective Todd Novisedlak knows well how many pimps are working near Westlake Park to lure young girls into a life of prostitution.

He’s helped take down four of them during undercover stings there, including two last year.

pimps2“This is a duck pond for predators, sexual predators who are here for one purpose only,” Novisedlak said.

During an operation in 2012 near the fountain, two female officers pretended to be underage students from out of town  It wasn’t long before two pimps approached them — Bruce Brooks, a convicted rapist who was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and Michael Gaines.

Gaines told the officers he was once a pimp and wanted to get back into the business.  They even escorted the officers through a downtown store to show them all the nice things they could buy with the money they would earn working as prostitutes.

“When you start flashing whether it’s real merchandise like jewelry or the car you’re driving or a wad of cash or telling them stories about all the great things you could do together or the potential this girl has, she’s so beautiful, then you’ve got your hooks in her,” Novisedlak said.

Police arrested the two men after they put the girls on a bus to Aurora Avenue North.

“It is a major spot for recruiting and we’ve discovered that, through recovering of victims, business owners who report the activity, police officers who report the activity, girls who are still in it and even pimps that we’ve arrested have confided in us that this is the spot that they come to set their sights on a potential victim,” Novisedlak said.

Capt. Eric Sano commands the Seattle Police Unit investigating sex trafficking.  He says the pimps working near the park have silver tongues.

“They wait. They look, they try and find that one girl that maybe looks lost, that maybe looks neglected, that maybe looks like they could get their hooks into her and they`ll woo her and tell things that make her believe she`s beautiful and then they`ll lure her into this lifestyle,”  Sano said.

It may seem exciting to a troubled teenager, Novisedlak says, but, “Many of the girls end up hooked on drugs, beaten, starved and even tortured to make them keep earning.

Sano adds,  ‘We need to get these guys off the streets so that these victims, these girls, can start the healing process.”

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8 comments

  • Anonymous

    I was on an extensive trial for one of these pimps that Detective Novisedlak brought down. It's nice to hear he's still getting these D-bags. Keep up the good work, Detective.

  • scared

    My favorite was the scary black guy in the beginning; that really helped set the mood. I mean- sure, we don't know if he was a pimp, or did anything wrong, but he WAS black and dressed differently than me, plus he was just standing there which only criminals ever do.

    • 8008z4me

      My favorite was when the anchorwoman reminded me that we should be concerned because Westlake is a place we go all the time, sometimes with our families, and not some poor neighborhood I never really go to.

  • talan

    thank you i lived on the streets of seattle for years i saw young girls out there even back in the 2000 that where victoms of this, the street kids (the homeless community ) had tryed to save several verry successfully mind you then the cops kicked us out of the parks or kept moving us around i guess if you want to save these girls arm the street kids these pimps wont last long i have seen what just a few street punks can do hell im one of them i dont put up with that taking advantage of young girls crap these pimps should be neutered /go to the street punks they should help prevent this


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