Suspect in Westlake pimping case a convicted rapist
A man who was sentenced to almost 20 years in prison in 1992 for raping a Seattle school custodian was arrested last week for allegedly offering to work as a pimp for two undercover Seattle police officers posing as teen girls.
Seattle Times staff reporter
A man who was sentenced to almost 20 years in prison in 1992 for kidnapping and raping a Seattle school custodian was arrested last week for allegedly offering to work as a pimp for two police officers posing as teen girls.
Bruce Jerome Brooks, 44, of Tacoma, was charged Tuesday with promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor, a felony. He and co-defendant Michael Deshawn Gaines, who is facing the same charge, allegedly tried to pick up the two female officers while they were conducting an undercover sting near Westlake Center.
According to the charges against the men, Gaines, 41, of Kent, told one of the officers that he was "once a pimp" and was considering getting back into the business. Brooks told the other officer that he "would introduce her into an escort service."
The two officers were wearing plain clothes and introduced themselves as 17-year-old girls, charges said. Westlake Center is known to be frequented by men who try to coerce girls and young women into prostitution.
King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Carol Spoor noted that both men have extensive criminal records and should be considered a flight risk. Brooks is being held at the King County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail; Gaines on $75,000 bail.
Gaines has been booked into jail 35 times since 1988 and has convictions for heroin possession, domestic violence and promoting prostitution.
Brooks has been booked into jail 13 times since 1986 and has served time for robbery, drug possession, attempted burglary and the rape and kidnapping convictions from October 1992.
"It's particularly disturbing that someone with such a violent criminal history was actively seeking out children for commercial sexual exploitation at Westlake Park," police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said. "Fortunately the 'children' in this case were undercover officers. Our Vice/High Risk Victim's Unit regularly patrols this area and others to ensure that predator's like this never know whether they are dealing with potential victims or Seattle Police officers."
When he was 24, Brooks and a co-defendant, Leo P. Victoria Jr., abducted two custodians, a man and woman, outside Washington Middle School on Feb. 14, 1992. Brooks and Victoria robbed the custodians and drove them around. They raped the female custodian three times, while forcing her male colleague to watch.
When Victoria was arrested, he had the male worker's wallet.
Brooks was arrested after he was linked to a fingerprint from a beer bottle left at the scene.
Brooks was sentenced to 19 years in prison and released in February 2010. Victoria received a 25-year sentence.
Brooks is a registered Level III sex offender.
Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report, which includes information from Seattle Times archives.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.