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Police arrested six men and one woman in Florida for allegedly luring a teenage boy to a trailer via Discord messages and holding another teenage boy captive as a “sex slave” there for a year, Buzzfeed News reported Monday.
The arrests come after a months-long search by the St. Petersburg Police Department for a missing 17-year-old boy from Louisiana. Police believed it to be a case of human trafficking and that the suspects arranged to pick up the teenager using the gaming chat service Discord before traveling to the St. Petersburg mobile home.
Upon investigating the “filthy trailer,” authorities found both the 17-year-old and a 16-year-old who’d been missing for nearly a year. The boys were living there with four of those charged: Mark Earl Dennis, Andrew Barry Dennis, Curtis Lee Gruwell, and Michael Wayne Schwartz. Mark Dennis purportedly said he was the 16-year-old’s father, which later proved false, but upon failing to produce documentation to that fact, police removed both boys from the home.
Additional investigation found the younger boy had been introduced to the Dennises by a family acquaintance, Eleanor Faye McGlamory, 11 months earlier. Authorities said the men took him to their trailer weeks later under the pretense of offering him a better life. Instead, he was “introduced to sadomasochism and used as a sex slave” by the four men and two others, Michael Ray Blasdel and JR Gauthier.
The boy did not attend school nor receive medical attention during that time, police said. According to police, he’s now “receiving specialized trauma-informed care designed for victims of human trafficking and is thriving.”
Mark Dennis, Andrew Dennis, Schwartz, Blasdel, Gauthier, and McGlamory all face charges of conspiracy to commit human trafficking and interference with custody. Additionally, Mark Dennis, Andrew Dennis, Blasdel, and Gauthier have been charged with sexual battery with a child under 16.
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H/T BuzzFeed News
Alyse Stanley is a video game and culture reporter based in Virginia with words at Polygon and USGamer. When she’s not writing about memes, she edits Unwinnable’s monthly magazine. You can follow her on Twitter @pithyalyse.