Pimp just out of prison allegedly trapped woman in sex trade

The Everett man has a history of sex offenses. Police say he was violently controlling a sex worker.

Bernard Gordon (Washington State Department of Corrections)

Bernard Gordon (Washington State Department of Corrections)

EVERETT — A sex offender with a history of human trafficking was arrested in Everett, accused of beating a woman to keep her in the sex trade.

An investigation began when Bernard Gordon, 31, stopped on Evergreen Way at 11 a.m. Wednesday and asked a woman if she was working for anyone, according to police reports filed in court.

She was “dressed as a prostitute would be, was walking as a prostitute would, and was in an area known for such activity,” court papers say.

But she was an undercover detective. She told him she worked independently. Gordon asked her if he could set up an appointment later, according to police. He reportedly gave her his phone number and told her to text him later.

The neighborhood is designated by an Everett ordinance called Stay Out of Areas for Prostitution. Police watched Gordon climb into a Cadillac with two women inside. Officers pulled over the car.

Both women had warrants out for their arrest.

The driver told police that Gordon was her pimp and that he often beat her to keep her working.

A few months ago, she reported, he broke her nose, hit her in the side of the head and left her unable to hear out of her right ear.

She’d done three sex acts that morning for johns. All the money went to Gordon, she reported. He allowed her to drive because it was her birthday.

She told police Gordon introduced her to heroin, got her hooked and controlled her access to the drug so that she couldn’t leave him.

She reported Gordon made all of her decisions for her — and she feared he’d beat or kill her if he was released from jail.

Everett District Court Judge Tam Bui set Gordon’s bail Thursday at $150,000. He’s accused of first-degree promoting prostitution.

Gordon has past convictions for third-degree rape of a child, luring and failing to register as a sex offender. He served a five-year prison sentence for dealing heroin and cocaine in Thurston County.

Most recently, he served time in prison for trying to persuade a woman to try prostitution outside of an apartment in Everett. She got in a fight with her boyfriend in June 2017, and when she went outside, 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 she could make a lot of money as a prostitute. He made unwanted advances, then sexually assaulted her while she told him, “No,” according to the woman’s report to police.

Afterward, she called a friend, who called 911.

DNA evidence on a condom matched Gordon.

After a trial in late 2017, a jury was deadlocked on whether he committed rape. Gordon later pleaded guilty to second-degree promoting prostitution and misdemeanor assault with a sexual motivation.

A Snohomish County judge sentenced him to 16 months in prison in December 2017.

Court papers note there’s a third case where Gordon was accused of promoting prostitution and kidnapping. Charges weren’t filed because the alleged victim did not want to pursue the case.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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