Victims’ participation and cooperation with Redmond police was crucial in the conviction of a 51-year-old man for multiple sex crimes against adults and juveniles in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Monday, according to Redmond Detective Sergeant AnnMarie Fein.
After a three-year investigation that originated in Redmond, David Delay was charged with 17 counts that included production of child pornography, obstruction, sex trafficking of a minor, and sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion.
The victims’ reliving and retelling of their stories and cooperating with local police, the FBI and the District Attorney “was instrumental in getting this dangerous predator convicted,” Fein said. Seven of the victims took the stand during the 10-day trial and testified against Delay.
“This defendant preyed on vulnerable teenagers and young women, exploiting them for his own profit and sexual gratification, with no regard for their humanity,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore in a U.S. Department of Justice press release. “The Department of Justice will vigorously pursue sex traffickers and hold them accountable for their horrific crimes.”
The case began in November of 2014 when a Redmond police officer interviewed one of Delay’s victims, an 18-year-old Redmond woman, who had initially reported cyberbullying and threats from both Delay and his friend, Marysa Comer, now 22, according to a Redmond Police Department (RPD) press release.
The victim came to Redmond police because Delay and Comer had hacked into her personal online accounts and posted explicit photos of her on her Facebook page.
In previous coverage, the RPD told the Reporter that Delay and Comer — who both formerly lived in Lynnwood — targeted teenaged girls and young women, giving the impression that they would be entering a romantic relationship and participating in a documentary film about how escorting should be legal in the United States.
Charging documents state that, “the defendants appear to be using a production company to lure young women into prostitution and as cover to deflect inquiry from law enforcement and others. In addition, the defendants also formed intimate relationships with at least two victims in an effort to manipulate and control each into prostitution.”
The victims were promised $20 million, when they were actually entering a sex-trafficking ring. Court documents state that Delay and Comer would arrange encounters between the victims and the “Johns” in multiple states, including Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Texas, Florida and Illinois. One of the victims reported to RPD that the suspects wanted to send her to meet a client in Germany, but the plan “fell through because (the victim) could not find her passport.”
According to the RPD release, after the Redmond victim decided she no longer wanted to be a part of Delay’s scheme and tried to leave his Lynnwood residence, the online harassment and threats began. Delay had also enticed victims to be in pornographic videos and photos, and told them if they did not comply with his demands he would publish the graphic images online.
In January of 2015, the Reporter wrote that police arrested Delay and Comer on felony warrants with the RPD.
Delay’s warrant was for second-degree promoting prostitution and tampering with a witness. He was arrested at Seattle–Tacoma International Airport after arriving on a flight from Chicago. Delay was booked into King County Jail, according to the RPD.
Comer’s warrant was for second-degree promoting prostitution and second-degree extortion. She was arrested by the FBI in Chicago at a hotel and was booked into Cook County Jail in Chicago.
Delay is facing a maximum sentence of life imprisonment at his sentencing scheduled for Feb. 2, 2018. Comer also faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty to one count of sex trafficking on Nov. 16, 2015 and is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 1.