A Yelm man is charged with commercial sexual abuse of a minor, after a Bremerton Police Department investigation identified him as a customer of a 17-year-old prostitute, court papers state.
Scott Surma, 46, is charged with a single count of commercial sexual abuse of a minor. His arraignment is scheduled for April 16 in Thurston County Superior Court. Commercial sexual abuse of a minor is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and a $20,000 fine.
Bremerton Police Detective Martin Garland said his department’s human trafficking investigation has identified two underage female victims who were enlisted to act as prostitutes advertising out of the Kitsap County area on backpage.com. Four individuals believed to be the underage victims’ “pimps” have been arrested as a result of the investigation, he said.
The department also has identified a number of johns who hired the underage victims, and has made arrests of these men in Pierce, King and Thurston counties, he said.
According to court papers:
A search of text messages on one of the underage victim’s cellphones led police to identify Surma as one of her clients. The underage victim told detectives that Surma paid her $300 in exchange for sex.
Detectives located Surma at a Yelm address, and he admitted he had hired the victim in question as a prostitute, and that they had sex. Surma told the Bremerton detectives that he believed the prostitute was 18. However, Surma also admitted to the detectives that he did not ask her for identification.Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 firstname.lastname@example.org