Connecticut Sex Trafficking Ring Allegedly Exploited Young Men with Mental Health Issues
Police say alleged operation may have operated for two decades
Two Connecticut men were arrested Thursday and tied to an alleged human-trafficking ring that police allege delivered young males with mental health issues to wealthy clients for sex, PEOPLE confirms.
More arrests are expected related to the alleged trafficking ring that authorities say “may have been operating for decades,” says a statement from the Danbury Police.
Bruce J. Bemer, 63, of Glastonbury, was charged with patronizing a trafficked person, and admitted that he had been paying “boys” for sex for more than two decades, according to court documents, reports the Hartford Courant.
William Trefzger, 71, of Westport, also was charged with patronizing a trafficked person.
Both were arraigned Thursday in Danbury Superior Court, where their cash bond was set at $500,000 apiece, police said.
Authorities earlier in the investigation had arrested Robert King, of Danbury, who was charged with promoting prostitution and witness tampering, according to police.
It could not be immediately determined if any of the men had entered a plea or whether they were represented in the case by attorneys.
Although the alleged ring operated out of Danbury, it “reached other cities,” police say.
“This ring is alleged to have exploited young males with mental health issues, by delivering them to wealthy ‘clients’ throughout Connecticut for the purpose of sex for money,” police said.
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Arrest affidavits alleged that King befriended troubled young men, offered them drugs such as cocaine and heroin, and then forced them into prostituting themselves after they had run up a debt, reports the News-Times.
Court records further alleged that those exploited by the ring included at least 15 men in their early 20s — some of them living in group homes — with illnesses that included schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Arrest affidavits alleged that clients typically paid $250 for sex, with King pocketing $50. Sometimes he drove the young men to the clients, and sometimes the clients came to King’s mobile home, those documents allege.
In one alleged instance, one of the young men told police that he was looking for bottles in a Dumpster when King approached and offered to hire him to cut his grass, according to the court documents. At King’s home, the two then began doing drugs together, and King a short time later introduced the young man to Bremer, who showed the young man his collection of antique cars and motorcycles, the documents allege.
“He asked for a ride in his helicopter,” the affidavit says, “but it never happened.”
The arrest warrant naming King said he “sought out young men with varying degrees of psychological disabilities,” reports the Courant.
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“King would fraudulently befriend these young males, offer them work, money, food and other inducements, exploit weakness which is often drug based, and provide them with illegal drugs to the point they were financially indebted to him,” the affidavit alleges.
The document further alleged: “Bemer stated that he believed during a 20- to 25-year period, King brought him eight to 10 different boys for sex, most on multiple occasions. Bemer stated that he paid approximately $200-250 per occasion.”
The investigation was jointly conducted by Danbury Police working with the FBI and the Danbury State’s Attorney’s Office, with help from the United States Marshal service and the U.S. Attorneys Office for the District of Connecticut.