This week, police arrested 48-year-old David DeLay and 20-year-old Marysa Comer on felony warrants with the Redmond Police Department (RPD).
DeLay’s warrant was for second-degree promoting prostitution and tampering with a witness. He was arrested Monday evening at Seattle–Tacoma International Airport after arriving on a flight from Chicago. DeLay was booked into King County Jail, said Janessa Rosick, public information coordinator for the RPD.
Comer’s warrant was for second-degree promoting prostitution and second-degree extortion. She was arrested by the FBI Tuesday night in Chicago at a hotel and was booked into Cook County Jail in Chicago. Rosick said RPD is working with the FBI to extradite Comer back to the Seattle area, which may take a few weeks.
RPD learned about this after two victims from Redmond contacted the department, Rosick said.
On Jan. 2, DeLay and Comer were charged with three counts of promoting prostitution in the second degree, one count of extortion in the second degree and one count of tampering with a witness.
In addition, DeLay is charged with trafficking and Comer is charged with cyberstalking and criminal impersonation in the first degree.
These latter charges were in the certification for determination of probable cause paperwork that the Redmond detectives submitted prior to the arrest warrants getting issued, said Rosick.
According to the charging documents, each count of promoting prostitution was for knowingly advancing and profiting from the prostitution of three separate victims — one of which is developmentally disabled. In one count, the documents state that DeLay and Comer committed the crime “against a family or household member.”
Comer’s extortion charge comes from her attempt to threaten to reveal concealed information about one of the victims and “expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule,” according to the documents. She attempted to control a victim by saying she would post explicit photos of the victim on her Facebook page unless she communicated with Comer, documents state.
Charging documents state that DeLay’s charge for tampering with a witness comes from his attempt to induce a witness or possible witness to falsely testify, “absent himself or herself” from court proceedings or to withhold “from a law enforcement agency information which he or she had relevant to a criminal investigation, or the abuse or neglect of a minor child.” According to the documents, DeLay told a victim to point the finger at Comer or he would withhold financial support.
Rosick said DeLay and Comer — who both recently 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.”
Rosick added that DeLay’s and Comer’s arrests are timely as there was a young woman in the Puget Sound area who had been in contact with the two and would be turning 18 this week. Rosick said the teen had plans to leave Washington and meet with Comer in Chicago.
“It was great (DeLay and Comer) were arrested in time (before she could leave),” Rosick said.
DeLay was arraigned Tuesday and is scheduled for a case-setting hearing on Jan. 27. Rosick said court dates for Comer will depend on when she returns to Washington.