Gay Human Trafficking Ring Preyed Upon Men with Mental Disabilities
Authorities recently arrested two men in rural Connecticut for participating in a gay human trafficking ring involving drugs; death threats; extortion and the abuse of young, mentally disabled men. Even worse, the ring has reportedly been going on for about 20 years.
It all began with Robert King, a now 51-year-old man who would allegedly befriend young, mentally disabled men and then lure them into a life of drug addiction and sex slavery. Court documents allege he found one man with “psychological disorders so severe that they required regular hospitalizations and several medications.”
King allegedly found him dumpster diving and then offered to pay him for some lawn work. But when they went to King’s trailer, King allegedly got him hooked to cocaine and heroin instead. Afterwards, he allegedly demanded payback for the drugs, and when the young man couldn’t pay up, King reportedly said he could make extra money by having sex with King’s friends.
King reportedly charged $250 for the sex, skimmed $50 off the top and then demand more from the young men later for more drugs. King also reportedly threatened to kill any of them if they told others about what was happening.
Court documents state that King did with with at least 15 young men, almost all of whom were in programs for mental disabilities and some of whom had more severe disabilities.
According to newstimes.com:
One victim overdosed and nearly died due to what the police report called King’s “extreme indifference.” Another victim might have committed suicide as a result of being coerced into prostitution, the police report suggests, citing a remorse-filled note of anger, shame and disgust written before his death. Police executing a search warrant found the note in King’s home.
Police began their 15-month investigation into the trafficking ring when one of the young men told a healthcare worker at his group home about the arrangement.
The investigation lead to the arrest of the two aforementioned men —William Trefzger and Bruce J. Bemer — two older co-conspirators who paid King for sex with the young men. Trefzger was previously convicted in 2010 for sexually assaulting “a young Chinese boy.”
Authorities believe that the ring may have served “as many as eight wealthy men in Connecticut and Massachusetts.” Prosecutors have refused to press any charges against the young men involved, believing them to be victims.
Studies show that people with mental disabilities are sexually victimized more often than people who do not have such disabilities. One review of previous studies found that 49 percent of people with mental disabilities experience 10 or more sexually abusive incidents in their lifetimes.