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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane man sentenced to 20 years in prison for human trafficking charges

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 7, 2021

“Softball-sized welts” on her head, cracked ribs and countless fat lips and black eyes.

Those were some of the physical injuries one victim said Seth Randles inflicted upon her.

Randles, 37, of Spokane, was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court to 20 years in prison for human trafficking charges.

Randles agreed to plead guilty in 2019 to two counts of enticement to travel to engage in human trafficking. U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Bastian sentenced Randles on Thursday to the maximum sentence available in the plea agreement. Randles will be given credit for about four years of time served.

“That sentence is necessary to protect women in the community, girls in the community,” Assistant U.S. Attorney David Herzog told the court.

Randles’ attorney, Amy Rubin, asked for the low end of the sentence, 11 years.

In December 2019, Randles acknowledged in court that he drove a woman, identified as “Victim A,” to Wenatchee in 2009 and then charged a client to have sex with her before keeping some of the money.

Randles also said he drove a woman, identified as “Victim M,” from his home in Spokane to Boise to do the same thing in 2013. He said he took part of the money from her.

According to court records, FBI agent Ian Burns began an investigation in 2019 after a woman said she had been a victim for the past two years of sex trafficking by Randles. The woman told investigators that Randles used a two-story townhouse on the 400 block of Dalke Avenue in Spokane “as a base of operation where he would sexually traffic women,” the agent wrote.

The victim said Randles would take photographs of her and two other women and post them on a website for trafficking.

“The victim reported that she performed sex acts at the residence for money, which was then collected by Randles,” Burns wrote. “The victim reported that Randles would violently attack her if she did not comply.”

According to charging documents related to the case, Randles “frequently supervised his victims’ commercial sex acts, which normally occurred on the first floor of his residence,” Herzog wrote.

According to Herzog’s sentencing document, there were at least six victims of Randles’ trafficking and, by Randles’ own admission, Randles has had no other source of income besides trafficking since 2009.

Herzog said Thursday that a minor, “Victim S,” was being trafficked by Randles in 2009. That victim and Randles have a child together.

Through tears, Victim M described several beatings in court Thursday that allegedly came at the hands of Randles.

She said he whipped her with hangers and belts that left welts; stomped on her to the point of cracked ribs, where she could not breathe and get out of bed for days; punched her in the jaw so hard it cracked a tooth that needed to be removed; and beat her head and face so hard it resulted in hearing loss and face paralysis on one side.

“I can never make it sound as bad as it really was,” the victim said.

She said Randles’ abuse left her with severe post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depression and anxiety.

The victim’s mother told the court that the first time she stood up to Randles, she was rescuing her daughter from the “depths of hell.”

She said Randles abused her daughter emotionally and physically, isolated her from her family and friends and brought terror, rape, nightmares and trauma to her.

“You are a warrior in my eyes,” she said to her daughter.

Rubin said Randles endured poverty and physical and sexual abuse from his father as a child, and that he probably would not be in the situation he is in if he grew up in a loving household without abuse.

Bastian said it was “one of the worst childhoods I’ve had to read about,” but that as an adult, he is responsible for his actions and the injuries he inflicted on his victims.

Randles said he was incredibly ashamed and remorseful for the actions and will work to ensure these crimes never happen again.

“What I will teach my children is the importance of being a good person and treating people kind and understanding the consequences,” Randles said.

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