A 33-year-old Burien man has been charged with rape, attempted human trafficking and other crimes for allegedly raping a 13-year-old Tacoma girl last month and then instructing her to prostitute herself on Seattle’s Aurora Avenue North, according to King County prosecutors.
Aeurlious Drayton was arrested just before 4 a.m. Jan. 20, and he remains jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail, jail and court records show. He was charged Jan. 24 with second-degree attempted human trafficking, second-degree rape, second-degree rape of a child and promoting the commercial sex abuse of a minor, all in connection with the 13-year-old. He pleaded not guilty to the charges Monday.
The case against Drayton “highlights in my mind … how dangerous and exploitative that Aurora corridor is for victims in the sex trade,” King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Ben Gauen said.
Drayton’s defense attorney, Theodore Hastings, said in an email Monday that based on a preliminary investigation, he has reason to doubt significant aspects of the version of events set out in the charges against his client.
“At this stage of the case I am focused on continuing to gather information in order to zealously defend Mr. Drayton,” Hastings wrote. “Mr. Drayton vehemently denies these charges and is looking forward to having the opportunity to clear his name.”
According to the charges filed against Drayton, a security guard working in the 14100 block of Linden Avenue North called 911 at 1:06 a.m. Jan. 20 and reported he was with a child who had told him that she had been raped.
Seattle police officers responded, and the girl told them she had been standing outside a Tacoma fast-food restaurant, texting a friend, when a man persuaded her to get into his car because it was cold. But instead of driving her home as he promised, the man drove north, stopping to buy her chicken nuggets and going to his own house to pick up a change of clothing for the girl, the charges say.
During the drive, the man gave the girl marijuana and talked to her about prostitution, including a discussion about going to California or Las Vegas, the charges say.
After arriving in Seattle, the man drove to a secluded area, forced the girl into his back seat and raped her, the charges say. He instructed her on which sex acts to perform and how much to charge, told her to tell sex buyers she was 21, then gave her clothing, a condom, a cellphone with his phone number saved in the contact list, $2 and a pair of brass knuckles for protection, according to the charges. He then dropped her off and instructed her to meet him later at the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop on Aurora, the charges say.
Instead, the girl sought help from the security guard and provided a description of the man and his vehicle, according to the charges. Police located the vehicle stopped at a red light at North 135th Street and Aurora Avenue North, which is near where the girl reported being raped, the charges say.
The girl had also described her original clothing and shoes to police as well as the book bag and stuffed animal she had left in the man’s car. After officers pulled the Lexus over, officers spotted many of the items the girl described through a rear window of the Lexus, the charges say. The driver, identified as Drayton, was taken into custody and later booked into jail.
The girl was taken to Seattle Children’s hospital for medical treatment, the charges say, which don’t mention whether she also underwent a sexual-assault examination.
Editor’s note: In a previous version of this story, King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Ben Gauen’s surname was misspelled.