timberland online store How a former pimp talked his way into women
“It’s reminding me. I got to make it,” Harper said. “I got my blue suede hat. I got my shoes. I got my briefcase. I got the attire. But I need to fit my life into this atmosphere. This is my goal.”
His goal today, he said, is to get a nine to five business job that pays the bills legally, and to move away from the south Seattle “street life” that surrounds him. But his goal 15 years ago was to have “a house full of hoes.”
“Women are like trophies in a sense,” he said. “In the street life, (if) you (are) a pimp, you (are) the man.”
Harper, 39, said he left his life as a pimp behind in the early 2000s. But over more than 10 years, he “rented out” about 20 women for sex.
“We lived wherever was suitable hotels, trailers. I had them sleeping in cars,” he said. “I had a woman sleeping in a car with her baby.”
WATCH: Galen Harper’s Story
‘They Couldn’t Do Nothing Unless They Asked Me’
Hundreds of pimps and traffickers are exploiting kids and adults for sex in Washington every day. They each use their own strategies to manipulate and gain control of their victims, but experts say some qualities are always the same.
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“The motivation may be different for each of them, as far as whether it’s power or control,” said Sgt. Jaycin Diaz, who oversees sex trafficking cases in the Seattle Police Department’s vice unit. “But at the end of the day, they see these girls as a commodity. It’s about money.”
The money was so important to Harper, he said he got physical with the women who refused to work or bring the money back.
“I had this one hoe. She used to always I had to damn near choke the (explicative) out of her just to get her to just to get her to want to go out,” he said.
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That’s how Harper kept control of the women. He made sure they knew his rules.
“They couldn’t do nothing unless they asked me,” he said. “‘You not doing nothing. Don’t talk to nobody.’ You know?”
But their stories didn’t start with his physical abuse. First, Harper would flatter them with his words.
“How would I break a woman? I would get you to trust me,” he said. ” When I get you to trust me, then I come on in.”
‘I’m Going To Work To Sell You A Story’
Experts say pimps and traffickers aren’t easy to pick out of a crowd because they’re smooth talkers and charismatic.
“You’re not going to know per se that you’re talking to a pimp right away. I mean, it could just be a guy asking you out. What you’re going to notice is that he’s going to try to control some of what you want to do,” Diaz, the Seattle police sergeant, said.
But often, pimps seek out people who are too naive to notice something isn’t right.
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Harper said he didn’t waste his time with confident women. He said he would approach vulnerable people who were missing something in their lives, like love or the support of a family.
“Nine out of 10 times, they want a roof over their head, and they want something to grow,” Harper said. “They want the same thing that a typical woman wants, but they’re just in a darker situation or a deeper situation.”