A California man found guilty of promoting prostitution in Medford showed little remorse at sentencing, and the judge who presided over his case didn't mince words.
Lafayette Toney, 35, of Stockton, was sentenced to more than six years in prison Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court after he was convicted last week of a felony count of promoting prostitution, two felony counts of tampering with a witness and a misdemeanor count of attempting to tamper with evidence by breaking a smartphone.
At the sentencing hearing, Toney said he'd lost his home, his truck and his marriage because of the case and claimed he didn't consent to portions of a police search, wasn't involved in human trafficking but "just here for marijuana" and to make a business deal in Salem, and didn't own the phone that was destroyed.
"All of this is out of nowhere," Toney told Circuit Judge Lorenzo Mejia.
Mejia, who presided over Toney's Aug. 30 bench trial, said he spent many "unpleasant hours" with police recordings. The recordings, according to evidence records, include those Medford police made during a May 19 sex sting at a cooperative hotel, and those made of Toney's phone conversations from the Jackson County Jail with two victims.
"You are a vulgar, exploitative, manipulative man," Mejia said. "I really think I've never said this before, but you are reprehensible, sir."
Toney was one of two men Medford police captured on charges of promoting prostitution during a sex sting last May at a Medford hotel, along with 11 alleged johns and seven women prostitutes who cooperated with police.
Deputy District Attorney Virginia Greer said Toney's role in human trafficking had "clearly spanned over a period of months," and outlined an extensive criminal history in California. She sought a total of eight years, nine months for Toney: 45 months for promoting prostitution and two consecutive 30-month sentences for two separate counts of tampering with a witness.
Mejia sentenced Toney to six years, three months, with the two witness tampering convictions served concurrently to avoid a possible appeal by Toney.
The other man charged with promoting prostitution in the sting, Anterion Dante Lavar Suggs, 29, of Sacramento, California, pleaded guilty June 22 to the felony charge and was sentenced to 28 days in jail, three years' probation and was ordered to register as a sex offender.
None of the 11 men cited and released on a misdemeanor charge of patronizing a prostitute in the sting has been prosecuted so far, Circuit Court records show.
— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.