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Friday, March 1, 2024
March 1, 2024

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Vancouver man accused of trafficking, prostituting teenage girl


A Vancouver man appeared in Clark County Superior Court on Wednesday on accusations that he forced a 14-year-old girl to prostitute herself by making her walk Portland’s busy 82nd Avenue and posting explicit photos of her on Craigslist.

Zachary D. Lail, 19, faces charges of commercial sexual abuse of a minor and sexual exploitation of a minor at his Sept. 12 arraignment. Deputy Prosecutor Abbie Bartlett said her office may also charge him with second-degree rape and third-degree rape of a child. He also may face additional charges in Portland. Judge Suzan Clark held him on $100,000 bail and appointed Vancouver attorney Therese Lavallee to defend him.

Victim a runaway

Lail allegedly picked up the 14-year-old, who was a runaway, and her friend in Vancouver and trafficked them to Portland. He forced the victim to prostitute herself by making her walk Portland’s busy 82nd Avenue, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in court.

The next day, he returned with the girls to the home he shares with his father in the 14800 block of Northeast 78th Street near Heritage High School, the affidavit said. The father apparently was not at home.

He allegedly ordered the 14-year-old to take naked photos of herself with his smartphone. According to the affidavit, he used the photos to create a prostitution advertisement, which he posted on Craigslist’s personals for Portland and Clark and Cowlitz counties. Vancouver police investigators found 105 email exchanges related to the advertisement, the affidavit says.

On July 24, he allegedly arranged for the victim to meet at Heritage High School with someone who had responded to the advertisement. The person never showed up. On the same night, Lail’s father stayed at the home, and Lail told the victim she had to sleep outside, according to the affidavit. She slept next to a green box alongside the house, the affidavit says.

Lail’s only criminal history in Clark County is a second-degree taking a motor vehicle without permission conviction in 2010. He was sentenced to five days confinement and 30 days of community service in Juvenile Court.

Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts; http://facebook.com/ColTrends; paris.achen@columbian.com