DOJ awards more than $2.5 million to Western Washington non-profits who assist survivors of human trafficking
A Seattle area man with a prior history of promoting prostitution was convicted on March 6, 2019, in U.S. District Court in Seattle of five federal felonies including sex trafficking of a minor, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. The jury deliberated less than three hours following an eight-day trial before convicting 32-year-old AUBREY TAYLOR, also known as “Uno,” of all counts. During the trial multiple victims testified about how Taylor used threats, violence, sexual assault, and manipulation to control them and force them to engage in commercial sex acts in cities in Washington, Idaho, and Nevada and then give him the money they earned. TAYLOR faces a mandatory minimum 15 years in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik on May 21, 2019.
According to records filed in the case and testimony at trial, TAYLOR forced one young victim into prostitution on a trip to Wenatchee in October 2014 when she was 17 years old. Three other victims testified about how TAYLOR controlled them with mental and physical abuse or promises of love and a better life. The women were transported to as far away as Las Vegas to engage in commercial sex acts. One victim was controlled by rationing doses of heroin–using her addiction to keep her working as a prostitute. Other victims were instructed to get tattoos of TAYLOR’s name and nicknames as a form of branding and to demonstrate TAYLOR’s control over them.
The victims under TAYLOR’s control were violently assaulted by him on multiple occasions. When law enforcement or medical professionals tried to get the victims to cooperate with law enforcement, they expressed fear of TAYLOR. Text messages seized in the case reveal TAYLOR’s attempts to recruit numerous additional women and his use of threats and violence.
“He is a sex trafficker and a predator,” Assistant United States Attorney Kate Crisham said in closing arguments. “He sold his victims a dream of a bright future…but what they got instead was a nightmare.”
“I commend the dedicated law enforcement officers and trial team who worked diligently to investigate and prosecute these crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. “And I want to recognize the strength and courage of the victims who came to court and described their darkest moments to the jury in order to hold this defendant accountable.”
The case was investigated by the FBI, the City of Kent Police Department, the City of Auburn Police Department, the Bellingham Police Department, the Wenatchee Police Department, and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kate Crisham and Rebecca Cohen.
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Public Affairs Officer Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.