La Crosse pimp gets four years in prisonA judge Tuesday sentenced a La Crosse pimp who ran a prostitution ring out of his North Side apartment to four years in prison.
By: By Anne Jungen, La Crosse Tribune, Wis., Superior Telegram
A judge Tuesday sentenced a La Crosse pimp who ran a prostitution ring out of his North Side apartment to four years in prison.
Steven Cathey, 50, exploited women's drug dependencies by selling them as prostitutes, La Crosse County Circuit Judge Scott Horne lectured.
"You preyed on their addictions," the judge said. "I don't see any remorse on your part."
Cathey denied being a pimp, saying his involvement with one of the girls was as innocent as trying to reunite her with her family.
"I did not try to prostitute anybody," he said.
But prosecutors contend Cathey ran the ring out of an apartment at 168 Rose St. from the time he finished a prison term in October 2010 until Feb. 1, 2011. One woman said Cathey arranged her meetings with men, and another said Cathey kept the money from her eight customers and paid her with crack cocaine, according to the complaint.
He denied being involved in prostitution but was heard on phone calls from jail telling a woman to "get rid of all the names and numbers," the complaint states.
Days before his trial in October, Cathey entered an Alford plea -- where he admits no wrongdoing but concedes a jury likely would convict him -- to one count of pandering/pimping. He later tried to withdraw his plea.
Four other felony charges, including keeping a place of prostitution and solicitation of prostitutes, were dismissed but were considered at sentencing.
Prosecutors asked for a three-year prison term, pointing to Cathey's criminal history that spans 25 years and includes a 1993 conviction for pimping.
"We're done talking about rehabilitation," Assistant District Attorney Jessica Skemp said. "He has time and time again proven ... he needs eyes on him."
Horne also ordered Cathey to serve five years on extended supervision when he is released from prison.
(c)2012 the La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, Wis.)
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