PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A 26-year-old man accused of pimping out women and girls faced a judge Wednesday morning after a grand jury secretly issued a 45-count indictment against him.
Ezekiel W. Streeter remains lodged in the Multnomah County Detention Center. His parole officer took him into custody March 27, 2014, the sheriff’s office said.
The recently unsealed indictment accuses Streeter of promoting and compelling four women, including two minors, into prostitution between April 2011 and January 2014. Forty-two of the counts are directly linked to sex trafficking. Two counts are for strangulation.
Court document reveal the victims of the strangulation charge are also victims of forced prostitution. The final charge is for Streeter’s failure to report as a sex offender.
Officers said Streeter was utilizing websites like Backpage.com to advertise the women and girls for sex. Officials have described Streeter’s criminal activity as a “prostitution enterprise.”
Police, citing the sensitive nature of the reports, and ongoing investigation, declined to release specific information about the case. Police said some of the victims have been hesitant about coming forward with information because they fear retaliation. Police said they are working with the victims and non-profit organizations to help some of the women.
Investigators said they believe all of the women Streeter sold for sex, including the two minors, were living in the Portland metropolitan area at the time of their recruitment.
Sgt. Pete Simpson, a police spokesman, could not comment on the current investigation because detectives are still working on the case. Generally speaking, though, Simpson said human trafficking cases are a top priority for the police bureau.
“These cases are incredibly important,” Simpson said. “These guys are victimizing the children in our community.”
In addition to working the cases, Simpson said detectives work closely with the survivors to ensure they get help in the days, months and years after a case is opened.
“It’s a very difficult cycle to break for the victims,” Simpson said. “Getting the young girls and women into housing and into a supportive environment is critical to these cases.”
The indictment was filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
Streeter’s court-appointed attorney entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
The trial has tentatively set for June 5. Streeter’s bail is now set at $2.17 million.