SEATTLE — It was the casting couch from hell.
A Seattle man has been convicted of duping women into becoming prostitutes by convincing them he was a documentarian who would make them rich if they took part in a bogus film on streetwalking he claimed he was making for HBO.
It took a jury just 90 minutes to find David Delay, 51, guilty of 17 federal counts of sex trafficking and producing child pornography after targeting vulnerable young women — some who were underage — online.
Delay, working with a partner, Marysa Comer, 22, talked the girls into moving to Seattle with “false promises of fame and fortune,” that they had landed a starring role in the documentary film, prosecutors said.
In 2014, the pair convinced the girls that in order to make an authentic film on prostitution, they needed to live the life and any money they earned would be used to finance the film. The called their phony production company, Grandpa’s RV Productions.
But the girls were instead forced onto a cross-country treadmill of seedy motel room visits with Johns recruited through online sex ads for as little as $120 a pop, prosecutors said. Delay and Comer then kept all the cash and began emotionally abusing the girls and manipulating them.
Delay would entice the girls — including at least two minors — to pose for sexually explicit photos which he would then threaten to publish online if they stepped out of line. In one case, when one woman fled, he posted images of her online along with comments about her being a prostitute.
At trial, seven victims testified, which prosecutors credited with securing Delay’s conviction. He faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 2 Comer pleaded guilty in 2015 and also faces up to life in jail when she is sentenced.