MEMPHIS, Tenn.– A man was sentenced Thursday to 21 years in prison for raping a University of Memphis freshman at a motel, according to a release from Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich’s office.
Willie Taylor, 39, was convicted last July after jurors heard testimony that a woman working for Taylor befriended an 18-year-old U of M student in September 2018 and told her she could make money as an escort.
According to the student’s testimony, she didn’t understand that the work would require having sex and that the woman picked her up at her dorm to discuss the work.
The student testified that Taylor was waiting in the car and drove them to a Whitehaven hotel on Winchester where she learned that the woman was working for Taylor as a prostitute and a recruiter. They told her she would be working for him as a prostitute and give him the money. Afterwards, Taylor raped her and made her pose for photos to post online to attract customers.
When she was allowed to leave, she went back to her dorm and called police.
The 39-year-old has been on the Sex Offender Registry since 2007 for a sexual battery conviction. He also has a pending aggravated rape cold case from 2005 involving a 16-year-old high school student.
Taylor also has criminal convictions in Davidson County for multiple charges of aggravated assault, sexual battery, and domestic assault between 2007 and 2015 and violation of the Sex Offender Registry in 2014 and 2016.
Taylor was sentenced Thursday to 15 years with no parole for rape and 6 years for promoting prostitution. Criminal Court Judge Chris Craft ordered the sentences to be served consecutively.