Sterling Terrance Hospedales, Ft. Lewis Army Sergeant, Pleads Guilty to Pimping Underage Girls

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In this down economy, lots of working folks are taking on second jobs. So, why not a member of the armed services? Only Sterling Hospedales, an Army Sergeant stationed at Ft. Lewis in Tacoma, chose forcing underage girls into prostitution as his side hustle. Hospedales, the fellow pictured at right in a photo taken from his Facebook page, initially fought the charges. But last week he agreed to plead guilty to one count of sex trafficking of a child.

Hospedales, 27, was first arrested in 2009. A joint task force made up of FBI agents and local police caught up with him at an apartment he'd rented in Lakewood. They'd already found and questioned the two underage females who had been living there. One had flown into town from Wyoming the week before with a ticket paid for by Hospedales.

According to court documents, the 16-year-old said she realized after arriving that Hospedales expected her to pay him back by having sex with customers recruited from Craigslist. She refused despite Hospedales' threat to kick her out of the apartment. Another juvenile, this one 17-year-old runaway from Seattle, had been working out of the apartment for nearly four months, charging $100-$150 per throw. When not engaged in his duties on-base, Hospedales would stop by to collect the proceeds, she said.

Questioned by police, Hospedales copped to running a small scale brothel out of the apartment, and to being aware that both women were under the age of 18. Despite the admission, he initially plead not guilty when his with federal sex trafficking charges, and later angled to have his case transferred to a military court.

Unsuccessful, he agreed to plead guilty. Hospedales is expected to serve a maximum of 15 years in prison. And the Army now says he's in the process of being dishonorably discharged. With that and the "registered sex offender" tag on his record, he'll find earning a living after his release much harder than it was before he went in.

 
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