A Capitol Hill photographer facing rape charges for allegedly getting women black-out drunk and having sex with them is now facing consumer protection violation charges from the Washington Attorney General’s Office for allegedly posing as an online porn recruiter to get women to have sex with him during fake auditions at his apartment.
Michael-Jon Matthew Hickey, 40, is charged in King County Superior Court with three counts of second-degree rape. The charges came months after The Stranger first reported the porn recruitment scam one of its own former contributors had allegedly carried out on multiple women over the course of a decade.
Hickey is alleged to have posed as Deja Stwalley, a talent recruiter running New Seattle Talent, a woman-owned recruitment company that could connect women with high paying work in the adult entertainment industry. The team of three women and two men, the complaint states, was really just Hickey. According to the complaint, Stwalley is a former classmate of Hickey’s from Olympia, who had no knowledge of the blogger’s alleged actions. The photo with the Stwalley profile is of a woman Hickey met in Washington, D.C., according to the complaint.
Charges state Hickey found women age 17-25 and attempted to recruit them as Stwalley through Facebook — a Myspace profile was created in 2006 — promising they could make up to $3,500 a day. They would first have to audition with one of the agency’s “hunks,” according to court documents, which was just Hickey.
The attorney general’s complaint states Hickey used a three-step audition process. Women first answered questions, signed a photo release and provided their driver’s license. This was followed by a nude photo shoot and, finally, sex with Hickey, according to the complaint, as an “attitude test” for the phony portfolios he was compiling.
“Defendant never secured or attempted to secure employment for these women,” the complaint states. “Defendant had no contacts in the adult film industry and deceived women by fabricating the
job opportunities he advertised. Yet, Defendant repeatedly promised women that studios were interested in hiring them.”
The AG complaint states Hickey created business websites, email addresses and a Google Voice phone number with a Las Vegas area code to create a sense of legitimacy, also going as far as creating a fake profile to endorse “Stwalley’s” business. Chrissy Baaten’s fake profile was allegedly registered through the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, according to the complaint.
Hickey allegedly used the Baaten profile to talk about being recruited into the porn industry by “Stwalley,” as well as to encourage women to take photos with Hickey “every six months at least,” the complaint states. The complaint states “Stwalley” referred her to Hickey as a trusted photographer and her ex-boyfriend.
Hickey is alleged to have used trade names registered to businesses with which he had no affiliation, including West Coast Talent, Inc., Seattle Talent and Active Entertainment LLC.
To this end, the attorney general’s office reports Hickey is accused of multiple violations of the Washington Consumer Protection Act and the Commercial Electronic Mail Act.
“The complaint asks the court to order Hickey to stop his deceptive practices, provide restitution to victims and impose civil penalties of up to $2,000 per violation,” according to the attorney general’s office.
The attorney general’s office asks any alleged victims or women contacted by Hickey in regards to this reported scam to contact investigator Charlann Schakel at (206) 389-3850 or at CharlannS@ATG.WA.GOV.
According to the rape complaint filed by the King County Prosecutor’s Office, Hickey would often provide women with so much alcohol that they blacked out.
The Seattle Police investigation identified nine women who claimed Hickey had or had attempted to have sex with them under false pretenses or stated he had sex with them when they were too inebriated to consent, the prosecutor’s complaint states.
An acquaintance of Hickey’s told police she was sick at home on Oct. 14, 2013, and had agreed to an offer for Hickey to come by and make hot toddies. She said she drank too much, later waking up naked in bed, according to the prosecutor’s complaint, finding a condom wrapper on the floor. She said she confronted Hickey online, and he told her he thought she was coherent and enjoyed it, the complaint states.
Another alleged victim of Hickey’s told police she met him through an online dating site. They met at a Capitol Hill restaurant in February 2014, had several drinks and went back to his place, according to the complaint. The alleged victim said Hickey made her a drink and she became fuzzy after several sips, and the Capitol Hill man later began kissing her and then aggressively groping her. She too woke up with missing clothes and a condom wrapper on the floor, the complaint states.
Another woman said she was friended by “Stwalley,” who claimed to be a recruiter for an indie porn site, telling her she should get her photos taken by Hickey.
She said she went to Hickey’s apartment for a lingerie photo shoot, and at some point Hickey suggested she have a drink, according to the complaint. She also reported becoming fuzzy after taking the drink, recalling having photos of her taken and then spotty memories of Hickey having sex with her, the complaint states. She told police she was 17 at the time.
Two women with similar alleged encounters with Hickey were interviewed by police, the complaint states, but those reported incidents were past the statute of limitations.
Another woman, who told police she was friended by “Stwalley” and sent to Hickey for a photo shoot, said Hickey also made her a drink. She remembered being photographed in her underwear, and then Hickey on top of her, the complaint states.
Another alleged victim told police she was drinking with Hickey and friends one night, and Hickey offered to take her home, but first had to stop at his apartment. She said he invited her upstairs, where he offered her a drink. According to the complaint, she later woke up in bed with Hickey.
For the rape charges, Hickey is due in court for a case-setting hearing on Jan. 10.
Hickey Complaint.pdf by branax2000 on Scribd
Hickey Rape Complaint by branax2000 on Scribd