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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Former Spokane chef admits to enticing teens for sexual images; likely to receive 20 year sentence

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 17, 2018

Jonathan P. Holden, 44, pleaded guilty to federal charges involving the online enticement of a teen girl in Richland and the request for child pornographic pictures from other teens around the country. (File / Tri-City Herald)
Jonathan P. Holden, 44, pleaded guilty to federal charges involving the online enticement of a teen girl in Richland and the request for child pornographic pictures from other teens around the country. (File / Tri-City Herald)

A former Spokane chef is likely to spend the next two decades in prison after admitting last week that he enticed underage girls from Houston to Las Vegas into sending him explicit videos and photographs.

Jonathan P. Holden, 44, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Richland to two counts of child pornography production, one count of attempted production and one count of online enticement of a minor. As part of the plea agreement, Holden’s defense attorneys and federal prosecutors agreed to a sentence of 20 years behind bars and 20 years supervised release.

Holden, one of the original chefs at Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops at the downtown DoubleTree Hotel in the Spokane Convention Center, was arrested in February in Richland. According to court records, a detective posed as a 13-year-old girl and responded to a Craigslist ad Holden posted offering a sex act. When the two agreed to meet, Holden was arrested.

Once he was in custody, investigators obtained a search warrant that led them to find communication with multiple other underage girls on his electronic devices. They also found evidence that he posted advertisements seeking sex over a dozen times in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, and made similar posts in Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Denver, Boise, Anchorage, Billings, as well as Yakima, the Tri-Cities and Buffalo, New York.

That evidence helped produce a six-count federal indictment on June 20 charging the former chef with two counts of production of child pornography, one count of attempted production and possession of child pornography. As part of his guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop two of the charges.

Investigators further learned about a girl in Mead who reported she was sexually assaulted by Holden. Records say part of the plea agreement, a second-degree child molestation charge will be filed in Spokane County.

Newspaper records show Holden has been a chef in Spokane dating back to the opening of Spencer’s in 1998. He also worked at Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar from 2011 to 2015, and most recently was employed as the northwest regional culinary manager for the Rich Products Corp.

Of the victim he admitted to enticing, one was a 13-year-old girl who in early 2016 sent the 44-year-old sexual images after he “engaged in a detailed rape fantasy,” according to court documents.

He further admitted to having a 15-year-old send him pictures. His third victim, a 17-year-old, refused to send him anything.

Holden’s last known “victim” was a detective at the Kennewick Police Department, who on Feb. 6 responded to Holden’s ad on Craigslist under the “Casual Encounters” section. After being explicitly told that the person he was communicating with was a 13-year-old girl, the two agreed to meet at an Arby’s restaurant in Richland, and then a boat dock.

He will be sentenced in January.

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