Five Charged In Prostitution Investigations

Five King County residents have been charged in connection with what authorities call a "sophisticated prostitution scheme" that used escort services to net $250,000 a year.

Paul M. Thompson, 36; LaDonna H. Hutchison, 24; and Lori L. Gurley, all of Federal Way, were charged yesterday with multiple counts of promoting prostitution and a single count each of money laundering by the King County Prosecutor's office. Thompson also was charged with use of criminal proceeds.

John A. Vissar, 55, of Gig Harbor was charged with two counts of use of criminal proceeds and one count of money laundering, and Sandy J. Smith, 22, of Federal Way, was charged with money laundering.

Thompson, who was still at large last night, is being sought on a $100,000 warrant. Hutchison was in custody in King County Jail on $25,000 bail, and Gurley was released on her own recognizance.

Smith was in King County Jail on $10,000 bail, and Vissar was released on his own recognizance.

The five are accused of operating nine escort services in King County.

The arrests were part of a two-year investigation by local and federal authorities into the escort businesses. Earlier, 16 people were arrested on charges filed in U.S. District Court here.

King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng said the investigation is continuing and more arrests are expected.