Aubrey Taylor, a 32-year-old man from Seattle, was sentenced to 276 months in prison after a jury trial. Taylor is often referred to by the nickname “Uno.” He was charged with multiple felonies including sex trafficking, fraud, and more. There were several witnesses who provided testimony regarding Taylor's use of threats and violence as he forced victims to work in the commercial sex trade. He was found to have sexually assaulted and forced a 17-year-old female to engage in this type of activity. U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik described the defendant as “intelligent” and able to assume “effective control over vulnerable people.”
Judge Lasnik explained that human trafficking is a serious crime that is a danger to communities. Andy Grover, a Police Commander with the Kent Police Department, views the trafficking activity as a type of “modern-day slavery.” He expressed gratitude for those willing to testify in the case and ultimately put an end to this illegal activity.
Understanding Human Trafficking
The Washington State Attorney General's Office explained some of the following details regarding the crime:
- Sex trafficking forces victims, often minors, to engage in the commercial sex market
- Threats, force, and other acts of coercion are used to enforce compliance among victims
- It can be compared to “involuntary servitude” that exploits people for financial gains
- The U.S. Department of Justice reported that over 14,000 people are victims across the country each year
In Washington State, the Task Force Against Trafficking of Persons seeks to prevent this problem. They explained that Washington is a state where several geographical factors contribute to the prevalence of this form of crime. These factors include the close proximity to the Canadian border, vast areas of rural land, and reliance on workers for agricultural labor. Often those involved in these crimes are part of a connected network of activity that encompasses Las Vegas, Portland, Vancouver, and other regional localities.
The crime of commercial sexual abuse of a minor (RCW9.68A.100) involves compensating a minor or another third party for engaging in sexual activity. The compensation may be in the form of anything that has value. A correlation must be established between the participation in “sexual conduct” and compensation. The crime may also involve simply offering, requesting, or soliciting a minor to enter this type of arrangement. It is not a viable defense to justify the crime by stating that the minor consented to participate in these acts.
The term sexual conduct is defined as being intercourse or contact of a sexual nature. The crime is a class B felony offense. Those who are convicted may be sentenced to a maximum of ten years of incarceration and/or a fine of $20,000.
Criminal Defense Attorney in the Greater Seattle Region
Allegations that relate to sexual misconduct are aggressively investigated and prosecutors tend to pursue the maximum penalties that they are afforded under the law. Individuals charged with these offenses must challenge the allegations with the same level of vigor. The Karimi Law Firm will provide tenacious defense for clients in pursuit of a positive outcome. For a confidential case evaluation, you are encouraged to contact the office at (206) 621-8777 today.