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Published: Wednesday, 10/20/2004

Ex-Toledoan guilty in sex case

Hayes Hayes

A former Toledoan who once ran a prostitution ring in North Toledo and employed females as young as 15 now faces a half-century behind bars in Michigan.

Jesse Hayes, 45, who was convicted in Oakland County, Michigan, for having sex with a 15-year-old runaway, also has been convicted on prostitution charges in Monroe.

In the latest case, Hayes befriended the 15-year-old, whose parents lost custody of her. A ward of the state, she had fled foster care and was homeless.

"He took advantage of the fact she had nowhere to go and no one to turn to," Matthew Roth, an assistant Oakland County prosecutor, said.

Hayes offered the girl food, housing, and drugs, and eventually employed her as a prostitute, Mr. Roth said. She developed a sexually transmitted disease after three weeks. Hospitalized and then transferred to a drug rehabilitation center, the teenager told authorities about her experiences. They arrested Hayes, who ultimately was convicted on four counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

Oakland County Circuit Judge Steven Andrews yesterday noted Hayes' 11 prior felony convictions before sentencing him to 20 to 50 years in prison.

A parole violator in Ohio, Hayes also could face four years in an Ohio prison, an Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokesman said.

Hayes was featured in The Blade's 1997 series about prostitution in Toledo. He ran an escort service from his Pearl Street home in North Toledo with as many as 20 prostitutes, including a 15-year-old girl, investigators said. During a raid at his home, police found crack cocaine and prostitution paraphernalia, including a photo album of the women and a menu of services.

He was convicted in 1997 of promoting prostitution and corrupting a minor, and pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine. He was sentenced to 26 months on those convictions.

In 1992, Hayes was convicted of attempting to transport a prostitute and accept earnings of a prostitute in Monroe County stemming from a 1990 incident. He served less than three years for the Monroe County convictions.

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