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  Posted on: Monday, February 6, 2017
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Man charged for sex trafficking local teen in Oregon
By Raechel Dawson

   
 
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Federal prosecutors have charged a former Todd Beamer High School student with one count of transportation of a minor for criminal sexual activity.

Kamajah Jahrico Skannal, 20, is currently released on bail, but if convicted, he could face at least 10 years in prison.

Charging documents claim Skannal knowingly transported the victim on or around April 21, 2016, to Oregon through interstate commerce with the intent for the victim to engage in sexual activity, specifically using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct.

A grand jury charged him after he was arrested by U.S. Marshals on Oct. 25, 2016.

Skannal, who was 19 when he was arrested, is alleged to have transported a then-17-year-old girl, who is now 18, to Oregon to work in a Beaverton strip club, among other illegal activities.

In an affidavit, detectives with the Child Exploitation Task Force explained that their investigation began when the victim’s mother reported her missing on April 15, 2016. Her mother believed she was being sex trafficked.

Officers found the victim later that day while she was on her way to meet Skannal, the affidavit continues. She was returned to her mother, however.

Federal Way Police Department spokeswoman Cathy Schrock confirmed the girl was again reported missing in June 2016.

This time, the girl’s mother told police her daughter was with her ex-boyfriend Skannal, who was sexually trafficking her.

Furthermore, according to the affidavit, the girl was staying at the mother of Skannal’s child’s apartment in Federal Way.

Detectives claim this woman, as well as a group of girls called “Kam’s Angels,” allegedly worked for Skannal as prostitutes. The victim’s mother believed her daughter was also a prostitute.

Court documents state the victim’s mother gave police Skannal’s Twitter account and her daughter’s Instagram.

From that information, police recognized the suspect and found a post of a young woman, the victim, with provocative writing alluding she was involved in prostitution.

The detective also ran the phone number of the woman the victim had been living with and found an ad associated with the number on Backpage.com, a website commonly used for prostitution.

The victim’s phone records displayed several calls to Portland-area strip clubs, hotels and hotel booking agencies. Upon calling one of the strip clubs, detectives learned the victim and the woman she was staying with were fired after stripping at the club in April because management had discovered they used fake identification cards from Illinois.

In August 2016, detectives used a search warrant to discover Skannal and the victim were leaving Milton, where Skannal lives, and traveling to the Portland area.

According to a motion for pretrial release document, Skannal’s public defender, Susan F. Wilk, wrote the victim traveled with him on her own accord, as the two were involved in a longtime relationship while they both attended Todd Beamer.

“All available information suggests that [the victim] traveled to Oregon to work in a strip club voluntarily and provided the money she earned to Mr. Skannal in exchange for shelter, food, protection and other needs voluntarily,” Wilk wrote in the document.

The victim is now living in Ohio, court documents state.

After Skannal’s arrest, prosecutors said it was a serious risk that he would flee if he was released before his trial.

“He has no employment but was recently arrested with nearly $10,000 on his person an a loaded gun,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida wrote in a detention order. “The government proferred [sic] that he is charged with a crime in Oregon that involves vulnerable victims that could be swayed by defendant.”

Tsuchida’s reference to Skannal’s arrest with nearly $10,000 and a loaded .45 caliber handgun refers to a September 2016 arrest by Federal Way police on different charges: felony harassment and fourth-degree assault.

Wilk, however, his U.S. public defender, argued the $10,000 was actually Skannal’s grandmother’s.

According to court documents, she had supposedly asked him to deposit the money at a Chase Bank because she was feeling “lazy” and that the money was for her son who is currently attending Washington State University.

The felony harassment and assault charges stemmed from an incident when Federal Way police were dispatched to the Bayview Apartments for reports of threats on Oct. 29, 2015.

There, the officer found a then-20-year-old man and a then-19-year-old woman in the parking lot. The woman had been in an argument with her roommate and her roommate’s mother.

According to those charging documents, three men, including Skannal, were at her apartment at the time and threatened to kill the victim.

The woman’s boyfriend showed up, and he asked the group where his cat was, as they told the woman they threw it outside of a window. Skannal allegedly confronted the man while another suspect walked up and tried to punch the victim.

He ducked and returned a punch, but Skannal allegedly picked him up and threw him to the ground.

The three suspects began “stomping, punching and choking” the victim, according to court documents. He was somehow able to get back up.

The victim then tried to pick up Skannal, but the suspect’s shirt came up, exposing a silver revolver with a black handle, charging documents state.

During the fight, the suspects threatened to kill the victim. He told police when he saw the gun, he became even more fearful for his life.

The man told police he was aware that Skannal was allegedly involved in criminal activity and that he was “extremely dangerous.”

In August 2016, detectives presented photos of Skannal and another suspect to the couple who were able to identify them as the people who threatened and hurt them.

Skannal was arrested at the Surprise Lake Village Apartments in Milton and booked into jail on Sept. 19, 2016. He was released on Sept. 26, 2016, on bond, however.


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