Crime & Courts

Couple pleads guilty to running prostitution ring

A married couple entered guilty pleas on Friday in Anchorage Superior Court to sex trafficking charges stemming from an investigation that found they ran a prostitution ring in cities across Alaska.

Amber Batts, 40, pleaded guilty to second-degree sex trafficking. The charge could mean 10 years in prison for Batts due to a prior felony conviction in 2009, when she was sentenced for stabbing a man in the neck with a broken beer bottle, according to records.

Quinn Batts, who appeared for the hearing out of custody dressed in plain clothes, pleaded guilty to third-degree sex trafficking.

Amber Batts has also been charged with violating her parole in the older case, and the court could impose two additional years of jail time that were previously set aside.

She originally faced eight counts of sex trafficking in the first, second and third degree for the more recent court case.

Wearing handcuffs and yellow Hiland Mountain Correctional Center jail clothes, Amber Batts wiped tears from her cheeks during the hearing.

She was the primary player behind the enterprise, said assistant attorney general Adam Alexander after Friday's hearing.


Alaska State Troopers reported arresting Amber Batts in July. Investigators learned women were being marketed in Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Juneau, Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula in an online business.

Troopers said Amber Batts managed and supervised the business, trafficking to about 800 clients. She would take $100 out of $300 charged per hour, according to charges.

Quinn Batts was arrested in October for helping his wife run the business.

The parties agreed to three aggravators -- aspects of crimes that could potentially lengthen Amber Batts' sentence -- one indicating the seriousness of the crimes and the other two dealing with Batts' substantial financial gain and acting to advance her enterprise, according to court testimony.

Quinn Batts' offense was found to be among the least serious. Alexander said he worked as Amber's assistant by picking up payments, among other duties.

Judge Philip Volland sentenced Quinn Batts to five years of probation and suspended a two-year sentence.

Defense attorney Brandon Kelley asked the court for and was granted a change in Amber Batts' conditions of release. Previous conditions ordered her to have a third-party custodian and an ankle monitor. Now, her release prior to sentencing will only require the latter.

According to testimony, she has already paid a $15,000 bail.

Sentencing for Amber Batts is set for July 24.

Jerzy Shedlock

Jerzy Shedlock is a former reporter for Alaska Dispatch News. He left the ADN in 2017.