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Portland-area man sentenced to 8-plus years in federal prison for sex trafficking woman to Bend

KTVZ file

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) —A Multnomah County man was sentenced to more than 8 1/2 years in federal prison Monday for transporting an adult victim from California to Bend and selling access to her for sex.

Eddie Lewis West III, 37, was sentenced to 104 months in prison and a three years’ supervised release, federal prosecutors said.

According to court documents and in-court testimony, West knowingly transported an adult victim across state lines, from California to Bend, with the intent of posting the victim on a dating website called Skip the Games for the sale of sexual services. In April 2019, local police saw the ad, set up an undercover meeting with West, and arrested him.

Upon further investigation, federal law enforcement authorities learned the victim felt trapped in an abusive relationship with West and feared for her safety, the U.S. Department of Justice said. After West was arrested in September 2020 in a related assault case in Washington County Circuit Court, the victim felt safe enough to come forward and speak with authorities about West’s crimes.

On Oct. 20, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a two-count indictment charging West with sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion and transportation of a person across state lines with the intent of having the person engage in prostitution. On August 3, 2021, he pleaded guilty to the latter charge.

U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Tigard Police Department and Bend Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Natalie K. Wight.

If you or someone you know is in danger, please call 911. If you are a human trafficking victim or have information about a potential human trafficking situation, please call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or by texting 233733. Calls and texts are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Human trafficking is a serious federal crime where individuals are compelled by force, fraud, or coercion to engage in commercial sex, labor, or domestic servitude against their will. Traffickers exploit and endanger some of the most vulnerable members of our society and cause unimaginable harm. In January 2022, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland launched a new national strategy to combat human trafficking that aims to prevent all forms of trafficking, prosecute trafficking cases, and support trafficking victims and survivors. 

Article Topic Follows: Crime And Courts

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