EVERETT — An Everett pimp with a violent history must serve 21 years behind bars for sex trafficking, a King County judge has ruled.
Bernard Gordon, 33, profited off illicit sex workers in the Seattle area, according to records filed in King County Superior Court in Seattle.
After a trial that lasted five weeks, a jury found Gordon guilty in April of second-degree human trafficking, first- and second-degree promoting prostitution and leading organized crime.
Gordon was arrested in 2019 on Evergreen Way in Everett when he tried to “set up an appointment” with an undercover detective who was “dressed as a prostitute would be, was walking as a prostitute would, and was in an area known for such activity,” according to prosecutors. The Everett man reportedly gave the disguised detective his phone number and asked her to text him later. He then got into a Cadillac with two women inside. Officers pulled over the car. The driver told police that Gordon was her pimp and that he often got violent to keep her working.
Gordon was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of promoting prostitution. Later that year, his case was transferred to King County, where police learned of other crimes.
Deputy prosecutor Benjamin Gauen described Gordon’s history of violence against women in a nearly 80-page sentencing memorandum filed in court earlier this month.
Gordon targeted vulnerable young women to prostitute for him, according to the prosecutor. His victims were often homeless or addicted to drugs.
“He would find these women literally walking on the street in their own moments of personal crisis,” Gauen wrote. “He provided these victims with attention, the appearance of ‘love,’ drugs, shelter or whatever else they desperately needed. But there was always a steep cost. The victims had to make him money by selling their bodies along Aurora Avenue North.”
Under state guidelines, Gordon faced a range of 20 to 25½ years in prison.
Defense attorney J.T. Hicks asked King County Superior Court Judge Sandra Widlan for a sentence at the low end of the range, arguing the women in the case were “street wise” and had no fear of standing up to Gordon. The defense argued — in a two-page memorandum — that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that Gordon led organized crime, in spite of the verdict.
The prosecutor asked the judge to hand down 22½ years.
Gordon, who had eight prior felony convictions, has spent time in prison before.
In 2009, Gordon was convicted of third-degree rape of a child and luring.
“The pattern of behavior was particularly striking because the defendant targeted his vulnerable victims while they were literally walking down the street, just like the victims in this case,” Gauen wrote.
The defendant was convicted of failing to register as a sex offender in 2011, and he began serving a five-year prison sentence that same month for dealing heroin and cocaine in Thurston County.
Most recently, he served time in prison for trying to persuade a woman to try prostitution in Everett. She got in a fight with her boyfriend in 2017, and when she went outside her apartment, she met two strangers, one of whom was Gordon, according to charging papers. She got in his black Chevrolet. They drove around, and he talked about how much money she could make as a prostitute. He sexually assaulted her while she told him, “No,” the woman told police.
DNA evidence on a condom found at the scene matched Gordon.
After a trial in late 2017, a hung jury could not decide whether he committed rape. Gordon later pleaded guilty to second-degree promoting prostitution and misdemeanor assault in the fourth degree with a sexual motivation. A Snohomish County judge sentenced him to 16 months in prison in December 2017.
Yet again, prosecutors noted, Gordon had found the victim “simply walking down the street.”
Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486; email@example.com; Twitter: @reporterellen