A 23-year-old man convicted of pimping out a teenage girl at Warner Robins hotels last year was sentenced to 30 years Friday, 20 of them to serve in prison.
Akeem Lawrence Taylor was found guilty Wednesday of charges of sex trafficking, pimping out a minor for prostitution and sexual exploitation of children in connection with a 16-year-old runaway he pimped out for several days in hotels along Watson Boulevard last August.
"Those who break the law must be broken on the law,” Houston County Superior Court Judge Edward Lukemire said to Taylor during the sentencing session.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry for your mom ... and mothers of your children. They’re crushed by this, obviously,” the judge said.
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Several of Taylor’s family members spoke on his behalf, testifying about his good character, his past as an athlete and his potential for rehabilitation. Someone representing the victim also read a letter from her, asking the judge to have mercy on Taylor.
“You’re not here because you’re a monster with no redeeming qualities. … You’re here for the bad things you did,” the judge said. “It really doesn't take but one or two acts within a few hours to ruin a life and hurt a lot of people.”
Carl Veline, Taylor’s attorney, asked the court to “fashion a sentence which is representative of what Taylor's complicity in this case was."
"He is obviously at a crossroads in his life,” Veline said. "Akeem Taylor comes from a good family. You've heard from people who know him the best.”
Taylor previously testified that he was only trying to help the girl out after she contacted him and told him that she was stranded and that her parents had kicked her out of their home. He said he never pimped her out.
He said she had lied and told him she was 19 and that he did not know she was 16 at the time, though he’d known her for four or five years.
Prosecutor Cliff Woody had asked the judge to sentence Taylor to 50 years, 30 to serve.
“The evidence was overwhelming,” Woody said.
Woody said Taylor had set up an advertisement on a website, including the girl’s photo and a video of her performing a sex act.
"That video, that page is on the internet and will always be on the internet,” Woody said. “Every time some pervert goes to that page and watches that video, (the victim) is victimized again and again."
Taylor will have to pay a $10,000 fine and register as a sex offender. He also must have no contact with the victim, and he’s banished from Houston County and adjacent counties for the duration of his sentence.