David Diaz said he prostituted the 16-year-old girl for love. Lakewood police didn’t seem to care.
The 21-year-old Tacoma man pleaded not guilty to one count of promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor and was ordered jailed in lieu of $200,000 Wednesday. His girlfriend of two months, a 16-year-old whom The News Tribune is not naming, pleaded not guilty to the same charge and is being held at Remann Hall.
Both were arrested after an undercover Lakewood police detective arranged to have sex with a 16-year-old girl he saw in a Backpage.com advertisement Feb. 6.
Charging papers give this account:
The detective agreed to meet the girl at a Tacoma hotel and pay her $180 for sex. When he arrived, the victim asked for his “donation” and seemed very nervous.
After telling the girl he was a police officer, she agreed to let him search the room. The detective found a receipt for the hotel room purchased by Diaz.
The victim told police she knew Diaz’s girlfriend from school and the girl suggested she try prostitution after the victim 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, admitted to receiving roughly $3,000 from the victim.
Diaz’s girlfriend is accused of taking the victim’s photograph for the Backpage.com ads and riding in the car to take the victim to hotels to meet men.
Diaz told police he met his girlfriend two months ago and she started talking about prostituting girls to make money. He claimed he was only paid $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.