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St. Paul man assaulted and drugged women he prostituted, charges say

A St. Paul man was charged June 14 with two counts of second-degree sex trafficking, conspiracy to commit second-degree sex trafficking, and first-degree promotion of prostitution.

Darryl Taylor, 44, posted hundreds of advertisements in the escort section of Backpage.com, including some for a 17-year-old girl and two women — one 23, the other 33 — whose proceeds from prostitution he took, according to the criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County District Court.

The 17-year-old was prostituted during the two weeks last summer that she stayed with Taylor's co-defendant and then-girlfriend, Laqueshia Danekia-Kay'D Moran, 22.

For three days, the girl had sex with about 10 men a day, earning $150 from each one. She told police the money was given to Moran in exchange for letting her stay at the house, according to the charges.

The girl said that Moran told her what to do, and Taylor communicated via text with the men who responded to the Backpage.com postings, charges said.

The 23-year-old said she met Taylor last June after buying heroin from him; after several exchanges, he took her to his apartment and took photos of her to post on the Backpage site. Her trafficking began that day, according to charges filed against Moran.

She told police that Taylor kept her high on heroin, but woke her and told her what services to perform whenever a client arrived. Taylor kept the money the woman earned but provided her with drugs, charges said.

The trafficking of a 33-year-old woman was reported to the police by her daughter in February. The woman had been missing since November 2015, around which time Taylor began advertising her on the website. She was provided with alcohol and forced to use cocaine and prostitute herself while Taylor kept the profits, charging documents said.

Taylor forced the two older victims to have sex with him and physically assaulted them, charges said.

When the younger woman tried to leave, Taylor threatened her with a gun and choked her until she passed out. When the older woman balked over the work one night in March, Taylor repeatedly slammed her head against a window. He was charged with first- and third-degree assault May 6 for that incident.

Taylor was arrested April 7 for an outstanding warrant to register as a predatory offender in Ramsey County. Officers found conversations with clients and photographs of the 23-year-old used in Backpage.com advertisements on his phone. The device was also linked to the email account used in the ads, charges said.

In his home on Wells Street, Woodbury and St. Paul police found items seen in the backgrounds of the Backpage.com advertisement photos, a gun, .22 grams of cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

Moran was charged May 19 with solicitation to practice prostitution in the first degree, promotion of prostitution in the first degree, and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking in the second degree.

Moran told police that she was part of two different "trios," which she said Taylor defined as a "family" or "team." Both included her and Taylor; the 23-year-old and the 33-year-old were the other members, she said, according to the charges.

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