David Diaz said he prostituted a teenage girl out of love for his new girlfriend.
Lakewood police weren’t moved by his reasons, and arrested the 21-year-old Tacoma man and his girlfriend after an undercover detective arranged to have sex with the teenage victim, whose photo he saw in a Backpage.com advertisement Feb. 6.
Diaz pleaded not guilty Wednesday to one count of promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor and was ordered jailed in lieu of $200,000.
His girlfriend of two months, a 16-year-old whom The News Tribune is not naming because of her age, pleaded not guilty to the same charge, and is being held at Remann Hall.
Charging papers give this account:
The detective agreed to meet the victim at a Tacoma hotel and pay her $180 for sex. When he arrived, the girl asked for his “donation” and seemed very nervous. After the detective told the girl he was a police officer, she agreed to let him search the room.
The detective found a receipt for the hotel room, paid for by Diaz. The victim told police she knew Diaz’s girlfriend from school, and she had suggested the victim try prostitution after she mentioned she was trying to make money.
After meeting Diaz, the victim engaged in about 75 acts of prostitution. She told police she got to keep half the money from her “dates.” Diaz’s girlfriend, who admitted her involvement, said she received about $3,000 from the victim.
The girlfriend is accused of taking the victim’s photo for the Backpage.com ads and riding in the car to take the victim to hotels.
Diaz told police he met his girlfriend two months ago and she started talking about prostituting girls to make money. He said he was paid only $20 per “date” and his girlfriend gave him gas money for driving the victim to various motels.
“The defendant admitted he knew what he was doing was wrong, but he tried to make (his girlfriend) happy because he loved her,” according to documents.Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653 stacia.glenn@ thenewstribune.com