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Accused pimp allegedly intimidated witness from jail

A California man who's been held in Jackson County Jail since May following a prostitution sting faces new charges alleging he intimidated a woman into prostitution while he was behind bars and tried to prevent her from testifying.

Lafayette Toney, 35, of Stockton, was to be arraigned this afternoon in Jackson County Circuit Court on a new felony charge of compelling prostitution and five separate felony counts of tampering with a witness in a case that involves a single victim, according to documents filed in the case.

The charge of compelling prostitution alleges that Toney used "force or intimidation" to compel a woman into prostitution in Jackson County about May 30, some 10 days after he was booked into the Jackson County Jail on charges of promoting prostitution, resisting arrest and attempting to tamper with evidence — court documents alleged that he destroyed a cellphone.

The five charges of tampering with a witness involve the same victim. Police claim that he "induced or attempted to induce" the woman to give false testimony May 22, that he ordered her to "absent herself" from hearings in which she'd been summoned May 23 and 24, ordered her to withhold or provide false testimony May 25, and intimidated her to not appear at a hearing June 17.

Toney was one of two men Medford police arrested May 20 at a Medford hotel on charges of promoting prostitution during a sting that involved the use of websites and apps tied to sex trafficking. Some 20 people were arrested in the sting, including seven women arrested on misdemeanor charges of prostitution and 11 men cited on misdemeanor charges of commercial sex solicitation. 

Toney's next court date is set for July 10. Jackson County Jail records show he remains lodged on $387,500 bail.

— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat. 

Lafayette Toney