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Online prostitution ring promoter sentenced to 3 1/2 years behind bars

Charles Peters is seen at his sentencing hearing Dec. 6, 2018, in King County Superior Court. (KOMO News photo)

SEATTLE - A local man who ran a massive online prostitution enterprise that catered to thousands of johns was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison Thursday.

Charles Peters, 49, was sentenced in King County Superior Court for his part in running "The League," a website serving johns that exchanged reviews on women whose sexual services were sold to men in luxury apartments in Bellevue and Seattle.

Judge Mary Roberts called Peters "deceitful" at Thursday's sentencing hearing, saying he has no regard for anyone but himself. Peters was convicted in October of nine counts of promoting prostitution.

But Peters' attorney said he will appeal the conviction and the sentencing, adding that the women who worked as prostitutes did so willingly and her client is remorseful and "will not engage in this behavior again."

"I had no idea the state would construe my actions for felony charges," Peters said in court.

Peters was allowed to remain free, for the time being, on a $75,000 appeal bond. The judge also ordered him to turn over his passport.

Peters specialized in promoting Korean nationals, whom authorities say were largely shopped from city to city throughout the United States and often were working to pay off family debts at home, according to court records.

The women were expected to work up to 14 hours per day, six or seven days per week, and were imprisoned in luxury Bellevue apartments used as brothels, reports say.

None of the prostitutes in the operation were arrested, but were offered social aid.

Prosecutors recommended four years in prison for Peters, according to court documents. Thirty-two other men pleaded guilty and took responsibility for their part in the prostitution enterprise, helping them avoid prison.

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