By Eric Stevick Herald Writer
EVERETT — Two bikini baristas are in hot water after their arrests this week for investigation of prostitution and violation of the city’s adult-entertainment codes.
The scantily clad baristas were working for Hillbilly Hotties, which bills itself on the Web as “the HOTTEST LINGERIE/BIKINI stand in Snohomish County!”
The allegations stem from incidents in September. A month later, Everett police raided the stand at Hoyt Avenue and 41st Street.
The women, 23 and 22, on Wednesday were booked into the Snohomish County Jail and later released on bail. Their arraignments are set for Feb. 19 in Everett Municipal Court.
An undercover detective wrote that he approached each barista on separate days — Sept. 2 and 3. In each case, both baristas agreed to remove their clothing for money, according to a police report used to establish probable cause for their arrests.
The baristas also allegedly touched themselves in a sexually provocative manner, the report said.
Hillbilly Hotties has been under scrutiny. The city deemed the coffee stand a chronic nuisance under a provision in the municipal code. In letters sent in late 2013, the city demanded a stop to alleged prostitution, indecent exposure and violations of city adult-entertainment codes. Violations could land the owners in front of a hearing examiner and lead to fines or criminal penalties.
Since the nuisance letters were sent, city officials and Everett police have been working with the stand’s owner on a plan to keep the place in line with the law.
The ordinance is aimed at properties that create an unusual number of public complaints, 911 calls and responses from police and code-enforcement officers.
Several bikini barista stands in Everett and the rest of Snohomish County have created controversy over the years.
Criminal investigations and prosecutions are ongoing, including a case involving the arrest of a former Snohomish County sheriff’s sergeant accused of tipping off a barista stand owner in exchange for sexual favors. Darrell O’Neill was arrested and resigned from the force.
In December, the Everett City Council approved changes to the boundaries of zones considered high- prostitution areas. Newly added blocks include Hillbilly Hotties and another bikini barista stand on Broadway. People who have been convicted of buying or selling sex can be subject to a court order requiring them to stay out of those zones. They can face arrest for violating the orders.
The Hillbilly Hotties coffee hut made national headlines in September after workers there were robbed by a 12-year-old boy who rode up to their stand on a bicycle and pulled out a handgun. He also pleaded guilty to another armed robbery.
Last week, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Ellen Fair ordered him held for at least four years in a state juvenile detention center.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; firstname.lastname@example.org.