Venoy Overton charged, still in jail

SEATTLE -- Former Washington backup point guard Venoy Overton was charged Friday in King County Superior Court with promoting prostitution, a felony punishable by up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Overton is being held in jail on $150,000 bail and will be arraigned June 30, the prosecutor's office said.

Overton was arrested in south Seattle after a police investigation that began in May when undercover Kent, Wash., officers stopped a suspected 18-year-old prostitute. She told them Overton was her boyfriend and had brought her to the area and told her to perform sex acts for money that she would share with him.

The woman told police she was new to prostitution.

"She said it was her boyfriend's idea and stated he had 'pushed' her to do it despite her telling him she didn't want to," according to court documents. "Overton told her it was an easy way to make money. He told her she won't have to do it anymore once he made it in the 'league' (NBA or overseas basketball league)."

Michael Hunsinger, an attorney who represented Overton during a previous case, said he had no comment on the court action Friday. He wouldn't discuss whether he was representing Overton now.

Among the evidence police gathered were text messages on the woman's cell phone giving her advice on how to be a successful prostitute, court papers said. The report also said surveillance video confirmed the woman's statements that Overton used the money she gave him to fill up his vehicle with gas and to buy a cigar.

The woman told police she is in love with Overton.

When Overton was arrested, while picking up the woman from a Burger King, he told police he knew he had made a mistake.

"When asked why he chose to do it if he knew it was wrong, Overton said, 'I'm not gonna turn down money from a girl,'" court papers said.

A bail hearing had been scheduled Friday afternoon but was canceled when the case was moved to superior court.

In late March, Overton was given a continuance on a charge of furnishing alcohol to a minor in a case involving two 16-year-old girls.

The Seattle Municipal Court action meant the charge would be dismissed if Overton avoided another criminal charge for a year and completed 24 hours of community service.

Overton graduated from Washington earlier this month.