Seattle Sex Trafficking Survivor Shares Her Story

A survivor of sex trafficking describes how she came under the control of David Delay, who was sentenced in April in Seattle for sex trafficking and child pornography.

Video Transcript

He said that I would make $20 million from the documentary. And that it was, if porn was legal, then escorting and prostitution should be legal, too. And that once it aired, or whatever, that I would—and all the other girls—would get $20 million each.

Text Slide: Lauren was a teenager when she was tricked into a world of prostitution by a purported movie producer named David Delay.

When I met them, I was a senior. I was a gymnast, and I was doing gymnastics. I wouldn't say I was a shy person in high school, but I didn't really talk about relationships or anything. And so I kind of just went on there to meet people and possibly find a relationship. Who knows?

Text Slide: Lauren met Delay's accomplice, Marysa Comer, on an Internet dating site and felt like they made a connection.

I can't remember what she really, like, said exactly. But I know she was just friendly and kind of pursuing in some way. That she was a nice person and actually genuinely cared and wanted to get to know me. 

Text Slide: In fact, David Delay was a master manipulator, luring Lauren and other women into a web of human trafficking, blackmail, and child pornography.

At first, they treated me very well. David bought me things and bought coffee and just treated me like a friend, I should say. Like a good friend who you would think was a nice person. They took me to, like, hotels and stuff just for fun at the beginning. I just thought that, “Oh, I’ll have a lot of money and I’ll be around people that care about me.” I just thought that sounded great.

Maybe a month after meeting them, it kind of got to the point where they slowly introduced the whole escorting or prostitution phase—whatever you want to call it.

Text Slide: Lauren was trafficked all over the country and was not allowed to keep any of the money.

I think I was kind of just in shock, and I didn't really know what to think of it. And I just wanted to be cared about and I wanted a person to care about me and to be loved. So at that point, I just really didn't know what to do.

Text Slide: David Delay coerced Lauren into signing a contract that required her to work as a prostitute under the guise that he would interview her about her experiences for his documentary.

I think it was five or six months after living with them, in November of 2014, I called my mom. She obviously jumped on it—was like, “Oh, you want to come home, great!” And she knew that I needed to get out of the situation.

Text Slide: A family friend helped Lauren escape and brought her home to her mother.

They were not there at the time, so that’s how I got out. They had scheduled some man to come over that night. But I had decided before they, before that person comes over, that I was gonna get on it and actually leave. So that’s what I did.

Text slide: Lauren and her mother contacted their local police, who investigated the case with the FBI.

Text slide: David Delay was convicted last year on 17 charges related to sex trafficking and child pornography. He was sentenced in April 2018 to 33 years in prison. His co-conspirator, Marysa Comer, was sentenced to three years in prison.

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