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Police: Man 'won' girl in basketball game for prostitution

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A Charlotte man who won a teenage girl in a basketball game brought her to Cary as a prostitute according to a Wake County prosecutor. (WTVD)

A Charlotte man who won a teenage girl in a basketball game brought her to Cary as a prostitute according to a Wake County prosecutor.

"This defendant apparently won her in a basketball game with another person and then she was the take-away prize and he was able to able to take her back to Cary and put her up in a hotel and start using her as a prostitute here," Boz Zellinger said in court Monday afternoon.

Cary police have charged 34-year-old Leray Sheo Byrd with "sexual servitude of a child" and contend he promoted her for prostitution and then profited.

Byrd denied the allegations made during his first appearance before a district court judge at the Wake County Justice Center.

"I had met this young female down by the pool. I came to see about her. The police was at the door," Byrd told the judge. "I told them I didn't have anything to do with it. I would like to leave. They asked me to stay for questioning. I talked to them."

That's not how Zellinger described Byrd's run-in with the police at the Hyatt Place hotel in Cary near the RDU airport where he said police had found the 17-year-old girl in a room and were interviewing her.

"As they were meeting with her, this defendant showed up and started angrily banging on the door," Zellinger told the judge.

Zellinger said Byrd admitted some things to police, but wouldn't say what they were.

Police would not reveal where the teenage girl is from but said she is not from Charlotte or the Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville area.

They said she is in the custody of Child Protective Services.

Byrd is behind bars on a $500,000 bond.

Zellinger said Byrd has convictions for attempted armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

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