Trafficking arrest in King-Snohomish County investigation

Story- On February 19, 2019, the King County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mark L. Norton, suspected of coercing a female to engage in commercial sex acts in King and Snohomish Counties. Detectives believe the suspect, a 45 year old Stanwood man, groomed the victim over a number of years from around 2008-2013. The suspect’s grooming began when he was in his 30’s and the victim was a teenager and was babysitting for the suspect’s children.  After persuading the victim to engage in sex acts with him, the suspect had the victim move in with him. Eventually the suspect operated as a pimp and pressured the victim to engage in prostitution on numerous occasions throughout Seattle, Lynnwood and Everett. The suspect arranged the prostitution online and kept the money brought by people wanting to have sex with the victim.

Trafficking (RCW 9A.40.100) is a felony, which includes when a person recruits, harbors, or transports a person by coercion to engage in a sexually explicit act or a commercial sex act.

Traffickers and pimps commonly use methods of seduction to keep victims engaged, rather than just overt threats or violence. Detectives believe this suspect used emotional and psychological coercion to convince the victim to participate in prostitution for his benefit.

King County Sheriff’s Office Detectives led this investigation with the coordination and support of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, and the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

The suspect was arrested by KCSO on Tuesday in Stanwood and booked in to the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of Trafficking.