FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- April 26, 2019
Contact: Scott Alonso, 925-957-8638
Man Pleaded Guilty for Pandering from 2018 Human Trafficking Sting Operation
Martinez, Calif. – On April 24, 2019, Lawrence Taylor pleaded guilty to pandering and agreed to accept a sentence of four years state prison. The Hon. Judge Patricia Scanlon accepted his guilty plea and will impose sentence on May 1, along with a criminal court protective order barring Taylor from having contact with the victim for a period of 10 years.
On March 10, 2018, Taylor was arrested as part of a law enforcement operation conducted by the Concord Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ Safe Streets Task Force and the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office. The operation was designed to identify and apprehend individuals using online dating sites to exploit women for purposes of prostitution and also to connect the women to services and support.
Taylor, who was on parole for armed robbery, was apprehended after driving with the victim to a hotel where she had a pre-arranged “date” with an undercover officer. He was found to be in possession of two cell phones. The victim was immediately connected to a Human Trafficking Advocate from the District Attorney’s Office and offered services and support.
Forensic analysis of cell phones seized in the case showed that Taylor had been encouraging the victim to work as a street prostitute and also to prostitute through posting internet ads like the one involved on this night.
“Collaborative enforcement operations such as these are key to identifying exploiters in our community, holding them accountable for their crimes, and giving victims an opportunity to connect to services and support,” said Human Trafficking Unit Supervisor Dana Filkowski. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorneys Jay Melaas and Filkowski.
“The Concord Police Department is committed to working with our justice and victim-service providers to end sex trafficking and exploitation in our community,” added Concord Police Sergeant Jeff Ross, who participated in the enforcement event. “We will continue to organize and implement investigative strategies such as this.”
If you or someone you know is being pressured to engage in prostitution to benefit or help support another person, help is only a phone call away. Contact Community Violence Solutions at 800-670-7273 to speak to a confidential counselor. Or visit the Contra Costa Family Justice Centers in Richmond or Concord to talk to a Navigator about a variety of services and support available right here in Contra Costa County. The Family Justice Centers are a family-friendly one-stop center serving victims of human trafficking, domestic violence and other types of interpersonal violence. No appointment is needed and the centers are located at 256 24th Street in Richmond or 2151 Salvio St., Suite. 201 in Concord.
To learn more about human trafficking in Contra Costa County, visit the Contra Costa Human Trafficking Coalition’s webpage at www.contracostacoalition.org
Case information: People v. Lawrence Laquontia Taylor, Docket 05-182046-3