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Lynnwood Man Gets 33 Years In The Slam
For Sex Trafficking Teens,Young Women Using Movie Producer Scam

April 13, 2018

The Cider House rules for how to make a movie
Defendant Posed as HBO Documentary Film Producer to Recruit his Victims, and then used Blackmail and Threats to Coerce them to Work as Prostitutes

Chronicle staff

SEATTLE, WA.) – 1891 was the year the first silent black & white picture was made. Silent films, movies with no sound tracks, reigned as king of the celluloid stacks until the late 1920’s when The Jazz Singer came out.

The “movie producer scam” has probably been around since that silent film era, when young men and woman first began to dream of breaking into the movies, making it big and becoming huge-money Hollywood “stars.”

It is an enduring and intoxicating dream, that Hollywood star thing and one that men posing as movie producers (as well as real movie producers) have been dangling as bait for decades to get young women and men to do their bidding. The scam never dies.

And thus it was a 52-year old man was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 33 years in prison for his “predatory and exploitive scheme to recruit young women and teens to prostitution for his own enrichment,” announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes of the western District of Washington.

David D. Delay of Lynnwood, Washington had been convicted of 17 federal felonies following a ten-day jury trial in November 2017. At Thursday's sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said, “He deserves a long sentence and a sentence that sends a message to the community that these crimes will not be tolerated.”

“The long prison sentence imposed in this case is just punishment for the devastating impact this defendant had on his victims,” said U.S. Attorney Hayes.

Acting Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division said, “Delay used fraud and fear against vulnerable young women and girls to coerce them into commercial sex, turning them into sexual commodities for his own profit.”

The famous producer with the big HBO contract

According to evidence presented in court, including the testimony of seven victims, Delay targeted vulnerable teenagers and young women in their early 20s by claiming to be a “famous film producer with a multi-million dollar contract from HBO to produce a documentary on prostitution.”

And on that flimsy premise, Delay was able to entice the young women into working for him as prostitutes by falsely claiming that they would make “up to $20 million” by participating in his documentary.

How the con worked

According to a statement issued by Hays’ office, in order to convince the victims that his assertions of being a hot shot film producer were true, Delay sent them falsified bank account screenshots supposedly depicting the profits of his other films as well as a photograph of himself outside of an HBO office and what appeared to the victims to be official, binding contracts that he asked them to sign that obligated them to pay him “over a thousand dollars per week in prostitution proceeds.”

Delay also falsely promised some of his victims that he was negotiating for them to star in a reality television show produced by Ryan Seacrest.  Representatives from HBO and Ryan Seacrest Productions testified that the companies did not have any business dealings with Delay

Court documents showed Delay coerced the young women into prostituting themselves for his profit and that he “manipulated them emotionally, psychologically, and sexually; isolated them; made them completely dependent on him; and in some instances threatened legal action against them, falsely claiming that the victims had violated their contracts and were subject to civil penalties.”

In furtherance of his sex trafficking scheme, the defendant also enticed two minor victims to produce graphic pornographic photographs and videos for him, and in two instances threatened to release sexually explicit video images of his victims unless they complied with his demands.

FBI Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Seattle Field Office, Jay Tabb said the FBI worked this case “Closely with the Redmond Police Department and the US Attorney’s Office to get survivors the help they need, and traffickers the justice they deserve. Given the complexity of Mr. Delay’s criminal schemes, our team included multiple experts all working as part of the Child Exploitation Task Force, a unit which continues to identify other victims and predators so we can disrupt cycles of abuse.”

The judge in the case also ordered Delay to pay $76,700 in restitution to his victims, plus additional costs for counseling and medical care and following prison Delay has to register as a sex offender and will be on supervised release for the rest of his life.

And finally, because Delay “Has continued to harass his victims on social media, the judge requested the prison system and U.S. Probation limit his access to social media and computers,” said the statement from Hayes’ office.

One co-defendant in the case, Marysa Comer, 23, of Matthews, North Carolina, previously pleaded guilty on November 16, 2015 to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking for her role in Delay’s scheme. She was sentenced to 36 months in prison on December 1, 2017.



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