Washington v. Barbee (Majority)Annotate this Case
Shacon Barbee was a pimp that made money from prostitutes working under his supervision. The State charged Barbee with two counts of promoting sexual abuse of a minor (SE), one count of first degree promoting prostitution (BK), one count of second degree promoting prostitution (CW), one count of leading organized crime, two counts of first degree theft from the Social Security Administration, and one count of second degree theft from the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). The jury found Barbee guilty on all counts, except that they found him guilty of the lesser included offense of second degree promoting prostitution of BK. The jury made a special finding that promoting commercial sexual abuse of SE was part of a pattern of abuse over a "prolonged period of time," and the court imposed exceptional sentences of 420 months for the first two promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor (PCSAM) convictions. The Court of Appeals affirmed all of Barbee's convictions. At issue for the Supreme Court’s review was whether a pimp could be convicted on multiple counts of promoting prostitution when multiple prostitutes were involved. The Court had not previously considered the unit of prosecution for second degree promoting prostitution. In light of the statute's plain language and its prior decisions, the Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals and held that the legislature expressed its clear intent to authorize multiple convictions when one pimp exploits multiple individuals.