In April 2017, William “Bam” Washington arranged for a teenage girl to be delivered to a man at a Sharonville hotel for sex.
Here’s some of the text exchange between Washington, then 35, and Steven E. Ritter, who was in his 50s.
Ritter: “Need one of ya hoes bro.”
Washington: “I might have one now. I’m about to see what’s up.”
Ritter: “Just tell your boy (to) get ‘em drunk and high.”
Washington: “I’m working on (it).”
Ritter: “Get her high as (expletive).”
On the way to the hotel, court documents say the 16-year-old girl was forced to smoke crack cocaine.
It was one of multiple times prosecutors say Washington exploited the girl over a period of about four months. He was “making a living,” prosecutors said, “off of drug dealing and the prostitution of young women.”
A federal judge on Wednesday told Washington that his conduct was “indefensible” and sentenced him to more than 15 years in prison.
Washington, 40, pleaded guilty in 2018 to sex trafficking of children. U.S. District Judge Timothy Black imposed the longest sentence possible within the sentencing range agreed upon in Washington’s plea deal.
Ritter also pleaded guilty in the case and is serving an eight-year sentence.
The girl was in court Wednesday for Washington’s sentencing. She didn’t make a statement, but an attorney appointed to represent her interests said she now has a boyfriend and wants to move past what happened.
“She’s moving forward, and I’m happy to say she’s thriving,” the attorney, Tamara Sack, said in court.
According to prosecutors, the girl had run away from a foster home. She ended up living in an Evanston home with several people including Washington who at the time was in an abusive relationship with a relative of the girl. The home was owned by Washington’s older brother, William Washington Jr., who is known as “Man.”
Everyone at the home, court documents say, “knew she was only 16 years old because they would joke about her age.”
After the text message exchange, Washington and an unnamed man, on April 18, 2017, drove the girl to the Sharonville hotel. Court documents say Ritter paid $200 to have the girl and crack cocaine delivered to him.
Inside the man’s room, the girl said she was forced to engage in a sex act and that the man repeatedly tried to fondle her.
She ended up in the hotel’s parking lot, where police found her “distraught.” Ritter was arrested and charged that same month. The Washington brothers were charged in June 2017.
Charges are still pending against Washington’s brother.
Also according to the documents, the girl said she “was often beaten and believed she had three miscarriages because of the assaults.” She also described being injected with heroin, forced to have group sex and once was forced to have sex after someone put a gun to her head.
The documents say that the girl’s relative placed ads about her on a website that is used for prostitution.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Man who sold teen girl for sex sentenced